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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TV Stations Slowly Return After Ostankino Tower Blaze

Television stations continued to work Friday to restore broadcasts in Moscow and the surrounding region.

Kultura, a state-owned arts channel, was to begin a joint broadcast with NTV on Friday night, NTV spokeswoman Tatyana Blinova said. NTV has been broadcasting on Channel 5, Kultura’s usual frequency, since Wednesday.

In the meantime, NTV began testing its own frequency — Channel 4 — and Blinova said the station would likely move there completely after Sunday, freeing Channel 5 for Kultura.

ORT and RTR continue to broadcast jointly on RTR’s frequency.

President Vladimir Putin said Thursday in Samara that full restoration of the tower will take between one and 1 1/2 months. He said he was "satisfied" with the pace of repair, Interfax reported.

At a news conference Friday, second-tier channels RenTV and CTC said they would resume broadcasts in Moscow within days.

The strategy of all stations in the wake of the fire seems to be the same: to bring in equipment from other cities where they have affiliates and install it on lower levels of the Ostankino tower or at a smaller transmission center in the Oktyabrskoye Pole neighborhood.

Other options previously discussed, such as broadcasting from the Moscow State University skyscraper, are not likely to be used, said Sergei Isakov, executive director of RenTV.

"There is no real alternative to the use of the Ostankino tower," he said. "All the alternative locations were thoroughly considered right away, but it would take months and a lot more money."