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Russian president’s decree guarantees 8 free television channels -
Russian president’s decree guarantees 8 free television channels
by Andy Sennitt
Russian citizens will be entitled to eight free television channels and three free radio channels as the country transfers to digital radio and television, according to a presidential decree. President Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree on Wednesday, the Kremlin press service reported.
The decree orders the broadcasters and communications operators to provide a number of all-Russian television and radio channels for free: Channel One, Russian Television (Rossiya), Russia Information Channel (Vesti 24), NTV, Kultura (Culture), Sports, Petersburg – 5th Channel, and the Radio Rossii, Mayak, and Vesti FM radio channels. The free package is to include a channel for children and youths, which is to be established by January 1, 2011.
As of now, Russia has 83 republican, territorial, and regional broadcasting centres, operating 15,922 television and 4,123 radio transmitters. The RTRS state-owned facilities have 14,478 television transmitters, or 90.9 percent of their aggregate number and 3,697 radio transmitters (89.6 percent of aggregate number). Of those, the RTRS owns 11,021 (68.7 percent) television transmitters and 1,992 (48 percent) radio transmitters. The company therefore accounts for the bulk of on-air broadcasting. Alternative operators are doing the rest.
The use of the MPEG-4 standard will provide for broadcasting all the free channels in one radio frequency channel while meeting the high requirements for picture and sound quality.
The director of the Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (RTRS), Alexei Malinin, said his company had begun to design digital networks in Russia’s Far East and the Kaliningrad region. All the broadcasting networks will be built in the Khabarovsk and Primorye territories and the Kaliningrad region.