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Russian TV Coming to Cable

New York— Russian Media Group LLC will distribute a three-channel package of Russian-language services to cable operators under the banner "RTR Planeta."

The package's centerpiece, announced at a news conference at the Russian Consulate here last week, is RTR Planeta, a news, arts and cultural channel programmed for international telecast by Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Co., the former Soviet Union's largest national broadcaster.

Russian World, an entertainment channel featuring movies, TV serials and documentaries, and RTN/WMNB, a mix of programming from Russia and content directed at the U.S. Jewish community, are also part of the package.

Both are already available to apartment dwellers and private homes through a direct-to-home satellite arrangement on Telstar 6.

Russian World, independently programmed but distributed via Russian Media Group, also has a few U.S. cable clearances, including Time Warner Cable's New York City system, which added the channel to its digital offering last month.

Negotiations with Time Warner and other major cable operators about the three-channel package are just getting underway, Fort Lee, N.J.-based Russian Media Group CEO Mark Golub said.