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CTC Media’s Original Series Pump Up Ratings

No longer content with imported American shows, Russian auds have been tuning in to CTC original programming in growing numbers, validating a new direction the company’s investing in.
“We’ve had unbelievable success with our ‘Junior League’ series,” says topper Yuliana Slashcheva on the eve of Mipcom.

The series, about a small-town hockey team trying to make it in the big leagues, scored big ratings.

“The season finale was watched by every fourth television viewer in Russia and captured a third of all family viewership, which is an audience unique to CTC and to the projects we develop and produce,” Slashcheva says.

The show drew north of 40 million views on CTC Media Digital platforms, which signified “tremendous opportunities for additional monetization,” Slashcheva adds.

The broadcaster is prepping a feature and videogame to kick off the show’s second season while producing tie-in sporting goods and books, predicting “nearly unlimited potential for licensed franchise products,” she says.

The media giant has already launched an online shop with KupiVIP.ru, Russia’s largest online retailer.

Sweet Me featured fashion for women ages 25-50, and is the first joint project between a media company and one of the e-commerce leaders in Russia.

“The decision to create an own brand of women’s clothing corresponds with CTC Media’s long-term strategy to diversify revenue and create new opportunities for monetizing the company’s main business,” Slashcheva said in statement when the project was unveiled in April. “We will be able to optimize investments for efficient promotion of a new brand using the Domashny channel’s loyal female audience and our own digital platforms.”

Another successful original series, “The Day After,” is a post-apocalyptic drama about Moscow following a bacteriological disaster. Its preem in November captured the top spot in its timeslot, prompting CTC to commit to a second season just a month later based on demand from the show’s 18 million viewers.

This year will see the launch of CTC’s largest transmedia project, an unscripted reality show called “The Tea Road” to be lensed in Sri Lanka with partner Lipton, the global tea brand.

And, aside from six original formats the company is presenting at Mipcom, it’s hawking an additional 80 projects that CTC developed. Over the past year the company also rolled out a centralized content library and rights management system enabling it to maximize efficiency on a wide variety of platforms.

CTC’s first transmedia project, “Real Love,” hit a combined reach of 53 million people in 2012 and 2013 when the company unveiled its first dedicated department for the form that “produces, promotes and monetizes our digital content,” Slashcheva says.

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