Russian free-to-air broadcaster CTC Media is to produce a local version of hit music format Idols and will set up its own production facility to make it. The network, which is backed by pan-regional European media outfit Modern Times Group, is to launch the local version of the FremantleMedia distributed format following the success of its remake of Ugly Betty – known locally as Born Not Pretty.
CTC’s corporate communications director Konstantin Vorontsov says it will focus on making its formats appeal to a local audience. “The important thing is that the format is very much adopted and that it’s not an identical series that we take from somewhere else,” he says.
The company aims to launch a production house to ensure it owns rights and to keep costs down. Dmitry Barsukov, CTC Media’s investor relations director, said: “The most important thing is not to own a production house, but it is to own a library of our own content, and a production house is an avenue in that direction. The benefit of that is that we would be able to control the costs of our programming. Strategically, we should be able to build a library that would serve as a launching pad for other channels.”
Russia’s production sector is still in its infancy compared to other European countries and until recently there was often a lack of quality local product available. CTC says it will gain a competitive edge by building up its in-house Russian-language programming. CTC will also be able to produce programmes for any channels it launches in any of the neighboring CIS countries.