Russia’s Rostelecom and National Media Group (NMG) have entered into an agreement of intent to merge their OTT and more.TV platforms.
The resulting joint venture will be 70% owned by Rostelecom and 30% by NMG and will operate under the Wink brand.
This decision aims to strengthen the position of both parties in the Russian content production and distribution market. An assessment of the business and other necessary business procedures is being planned and an integration committee will be formed to resolve operational issues.
It is planned to gradually merge services, content libraries and customer bases, as well as to create a single center of competence to produce and produce original content. Onboarding procedures are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Commenting on the development, Mikhail Oseevsky, Chairman of Rostelecom, said: “Only the union of the strongest can achieve success. Rostelecom is the leader in the Russian interactive TV market, and our video service Wink is one of the three largest online cinemas in terms of the number of paid subscribers. We traditionally have the strongest television content offering among our competitors. NMG, in turn, has achieved impressive success in the production of soap operas and films, which are loved by millions of Russian viewers. Our joint venture will combine the strengths of the participants by providing the market with an efficient production and distribution pipeline for quality content in both IPTV and OTT environments. Thanks to the merger, we will strengthen our joint market positions and increase the production of original content”.
Svetlana Balanova, Managing Director of NMG, added: “NMG and Rostelecom already have successful experience of joint projects in the media sector. We are delighted to have found the opportunity to extend our partnership to other business sectors. The synergy of production capabilities and expertise in creating NMG multimedia content and various digital distribution channels will significantly strengthen the position of updated online cinema in the highly competitive Russian market. Extensive experience in creating successful media content will enable NMG to form an effective content strategy for the unified platform.”