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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

MTV: Western Pop Culture Invades Russia's TV Screens

The march of Western products to Russia, which began with Coca-Cola, Pepsi, McDonald's and Pizza Hut, will reach a new milestone Friday when what is arguably the greatest icon of American pop culture comes to Russia: MTV.

Starting Friday, a schedule of 43 hours of MTV programs will be aired each week, according to Denis Dyakonov, spokesman for Biz Enterprises, the Russian company responsible for bringing Music Television to the former Soviet Union.

"We consider the CIS a great potential market", said Sandra Keenan, marketing & publicity agent at MTV-Europe in a telephone interview from London on Tuesday. "We are already represented in Eastern Europe - in Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania and Hungary - and the youth there have expressed great interest and enthusiasm in our programs".

The contract was signed May 10 between Biz Enterprises and MTV-Europe, one of MTV's six departments worldwide. Under the deal, Biz Enterprises received exclusive rights for MTV productions in the CIS for a year.

"I am absolutely delighted", said Dima Varyonkin, 20, currently a street musician, about the coming of MTV. "Finally, I will be able to keep up to date with the latest music news".

A Russian music critic writing in the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda predicted that MTV in Russia would put an end to a new trend among young Russian pop musicians in which they mimic Western stars as a short cut to popularity at home.

According to Dyakonov, six popular MTV programs are to be aired in the CIS: Wake on the Wild Side, Rock Block, MTV Post Modern, MTV First Look, Party Zone, and the Soul of MTV. Originally in English, the programs will be voiced over simultaneously into Russian. Dyakonov said that the programming will not be live, but will be no older than 24 hours.

While Dyakonov expects a new business named MTV-Russia to be created within the next six months, his British partners said such discussions were premature.

"It is too early to discuss the MTV-Russia project", said Steffany Hadjimiltis of MTV-Europe's ad sales and accounting department. "The current contract was signed for one year, and we'll see how our business develops in Russia. I think this will be the mode of our work for the next couple of years".

The stations, Ostankino 1, Ostankino 4, Moscow channel 2x2, and TV6 Moscow will carry MTV in Russia.