As of January 2015, RSCC-owned new Russian satellites, Express-АТ1 (56E) and Express-АТ2 (140E), will be used to transmit all digital channels of VGTRK, including its 20-channel package (My Planet, Sport 1, Russkiy Roman (soap), etc.).
Today, VGTRK channels are delivered to PayTV cable providers via the non-Russian ABS-2 satellite. The new RSCC satellites ensuring coverage of the entire Russian territory offer a viable alternative. Also, the currency-related risks of operating via international contractors have increased considerably. Therefore, it has been decided to use the RSCC-owned domestic satellites.
Dmitry Mednikov, Head, VGTRK Department of Digital Technologies, says: “Import substitution is becoming a key trend in the economy. We started to work alternatives to foreign channels as long as five years ago with the launch of My Planet. Today, My Planet is tops the list of the most popular channels, far outstripping non-Russian counterparts. Similar developments are on track in our sports, TV movies, and, with the advent of the Mult Channel, the segment for children. Replacing a non-RF satellite with a domestic one is a logical continuation of the trend”.
The Express-АТ1 and Express-АТ2 satellites were designed specifically for TV broadcasting, stresses Yuri Prokhorov, RSCC General Director. “Coupled with high-power transponders, a convenient orbital slot ensures ideal conditions for TV distribution all across Russia’s territory. RSCC’s advanced terrestrial infrastructure and full redundancy of all network components guarantee service quality.”
Concurrent TV broadcasting via the ABS-2 and Express-АТ1/-АТ2 satellites will be provided until summer 2015.