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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TV Still Out in Parts of Moscow

A day after the three major national stations resumed broadcasting in Moscow following the fire at the Ostankino television tower, some parts of the city and the surrounding region remained without television Thursday.

For three days starting Sunday, none of the main stations could be seen by some 18 million people in the city and the Moscow region. THT, Media-MOST group’s second-tier station, and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov’s cable channel Stolitsa could be seen by about 70 percent of residents.

State-controlled ORT and RTR returned for the city’s viewers at 6 p.m. Wednesday, with a joint broadcast on the frequency normally used by RTR.

Three hours later, NTV appeared on the frequency of the state-owned Kultura channel.

But when the broadcasting was resumed, some neighborhoods were left out. Residents in the Rechnoi Vokzal neighborhood, and Pechatniki area in southeastern Moscow, as well as some places within the Garden Ring, said they were not receiving any of the three stations.

In many other districts of the city either only picture or only sound was available.

RTR spokeswoman Olga Lavrentyeva said the bad reception and poor signal distribution was due to the fact the stations were using a less powerful transmitter fixed at a relatively low level of 147 meters above the ground.

Click here to see map of
Moscow signal coverage.

Lavrentyeva said she did not know when broadcasting for the entire region would be back to normal and when ORT would move back to its own frequency. Initially, officials at both stations said the joint broadcasting would not last more than two days.

Mikhail Shmushkovich, acting director of NTV Holding, told Interfax that NTV would be back on its regular frequency Friday evening. At that time, Kultura would probably be able to resume broadcasting as well, he said.

Two more stations, TV6 and TV Center, have also resumed partial broadcasting in Moscow.

TV6 appeared on its usual frequency late Wednesday, using a transmitter attached to the top of a tall building on the Garden Ring near Kursky Station. It could be seen in some neighborhoods in the south and west of the city.

Kommersant newspaper quoted TV6 general director Alexander Ponomaryov as saying the Press Ministry did not allow the station to resume broadcasting until RTR and ORT had returned.

Luzhkov’s TV Center has resumed broadcasting for about 1 million viewers residing in Chertanovo in southern Moscow and the entire southeastern district, a statement released by the station said.

Itar-Tass quoted Press Minister Mikhail Lesin as saying after a Cabinet meeting Thursday that 16.78 million rubles ($605,000) had been allocated to restore the broadcasts.