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TLC Launches in Eastern Europe

Discovery Communication's female-skewing channel TLC will be launching in on October 1 in Poland, Serbia, Slovenia and Bulgaria, making the channel available in 29 markets across Europe and has outlined plans for a January 2011 launch in Russia that will include an extensive slate of local production.

As a sign of the company's interest in the Russian market, Discovery Communications President and CEO David Zaslav journeyed to Moscow to announce the Russian launch and to lay out the company's plans for the market, which seem to go far beyond TLC launch.

The extensive slate of local production "and the launch of TLC all represent just the beginning of an expanded commitment in Russia," Zaslav noted in a statement. "We are focused on investing in Russia and we will be using our new Moscow hub to ensure we're developing new service and the best content."

During the Moscow announcement Zaslav laid out an aggressive plans for local production. Upcoming TLC programming for the Russian channel will include shows from Russian production companies and will involve such well-known Russian personalities as former heavyweight champion boxer Nikolai Valuev and Ivan Zatevakhin, who is one of Russian most renowned natural historians and TV presenters.

With the TLC launch, Discovery will have seven channel in Russia.