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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

NTV Airing Daytime Programs

Taking up its reward for supporting Boris Yeltsin in the presidential elections, NTV television will extend its presence on Russian airwaves from Monday, broadcasting during the daytime as well as the evening.

The broadcaster will now be on the air from 6 a.m. until late at night. Previously, NTV shared the Channel 4 position on the dial with the Russian Universities educational channel. Russian Universities broadcast in the morning and NTV took over after 6 p.m.

NTV received the sole right to Channel 4 by presidential decree last September, after openly supporting Yeltsin's campaign to renew his term in office. The company now has a five-year lease for the station.

Igor Malashenko, NTV president, said in an interview published Sunday in the daily Nezavisimaya Gazeta that NTV will continue to focus on news in its new extended version, as it has since its inception.

"Broadcasters should only produce what they're known to do best. For us this is news -- and all that is connected to news."

He said, however, that NTV planned to buy more programs from outside production companies. "We are in favor of separating production and broadcasting," he said.

Critics of NTV's orientation towards news have said pensioners and housewives who traditionally form the bulk of daytime viewers are less likely to be interested in news than in the soap operas shown by NTV's competitors.

But the company believes it can broaden viewers' minds with its alternative selection of programs. Russia has six national channels and scores of local and cable broadcasters.

The station will show seven news programs daily as well as 10- to 15-minute news flashes at the beginning of every hour. It is, however, also screening during the day the new Russian version of Sesame Street (known as "Ulitsa Sezam") as well as other lighter comedies, chat shows and drama programs.

Malashenko said that some of the company's best-known reporters would host the added news programs and that none of the more familiar faces would be brought in from other stations.

The flagship "Itogi" news program will continue to be shown on a weekly basis and, according to Malashenko, the popular satirical puppet program, "Kukly," is to acquire new puppets and come out on Sundays as well as Saturdays after the new year.

Other programs, such as the "Cafe Oblomov" music talk-show will soon be cut altogether, he said.

The station will continue to show erotic programs at night, and NTV will show a small percentage of films that will be aired on NTV Plus, the company's new satellite channel. Other feature films will include Roman Polanski's "Death and the Maiden," and Krzysztof Kieslowsky's "Three Colors" trilogy.

NTV is still obliged to show one hour of Russian Universities every weekday, which it buys from RTR Russian state-owned television. Malashenko, however, has appeared eager to change this as soon as possible.

"For the moment, by presidential decree we are tied to [RTR]," he told Nezavismaya Gazeta. "If the situation changes we will buy [educational programs] from other companies."