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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

ABC News Show to Be Broadcast in Russian

America's most popular news program, ABC-TV's World News Tonight, will be dubbed in Russian and broadcast on Russian State Television weekday mornings starting next Tuesday, broadcast officials said Wednesday.


"It's important for them to have another small window on how some of us in America see America and the world," program anchor Peter Jennings said in an interview during a visit to Moscow.


Local television stations broadcast several U.S. and British news programs already, but with nationwide Russian Television picking up World News Tonight, the broadcast could become the most-watched of the foreign news programs.


"We would like it very much if viewers would call us and speak of their approval of the program, but we realize that you must get used to everything and the reactions will be varied," Russian Television's chairman Oleg Poptsov said in a lunch speech.


Under the agreement, ABC will provide the program free of charge and split advertising revenues with Russian Television. Video International, which is selling advertising on the program for $800 to $1,200 a minute, has already sold between a minute and a half and two minutes of daily advertising for the first week of the broadcast, according to Oganes Sobolev, the firm's general director.


If the show is successful, Russian Television will sell up to seven minutes of commercials for each broadcast, an usually rich dose of advertisements by Russian news standards. One strike against the show is the 9 A.M. slot, which limits the potential audience, Sobolev said.


ABC's rival CBS started broadcasting its evening news program locally in English on the commercial 2x2 station for about a year starting in late 1992. CBS was unable to renew its contract when it ended and the program went off the air, according to Joseph Ritchey, the local bureau chief. The network is still negotiating to bring back the broadcast.


American television's greatest moment of glory in Russia came during the recent October political uprising, when Cable News Network provided live coverage of the fighting at the parliament building in Moscow while Russian stations failed to provide timely broadcasts.


During the two-day uprising, CNN played on regular Russian television, but its English-language programming is usually visible only in certain areas of Moscow on UHF Channel 24. Shorter CNN segments also are broadcast in Russian on other channels.


Jennings said ABC World News Tonight is seen in 77 countries, but "in no country is it more important to be seen and understood than in Russia."