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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

TV Short of Digital Content

MTMikhail Shvydkoi
Television will be short of domestic films and programs when it switches to digital broadcasting in the next decade, Mikhail Shvydkoi, head of the Federal Culture and Cinematography Agency, said Monday.

"There won't be enough content," Shvydkoi said. "It will be a problem for the cinemas, but mostly for television."

The government plans to switch the country's 142 million people to digital broadcast by 2012 to allow for 100 percent coverage and a larger number of channels, creating demand for more programming.

More than 3 million viewers have access to only one channel and about 1.5 million do not have television at all, according to the IT and Communications Ministry web site.

Billionaires, including Vladimir Yevtushenkov, Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Fridman, are investing in cinema chains and filming movies in Russia and abroad. The government is investing more than 2.9 billion rubles ($113 million) a year to support about 100 movies, Shvydkoi said.

"When in 2002 the president issued a decree to support the cinema, we wrote about 100 films a year as an unattainable dream," Shvydkoi said. "These days it is obvious that it isn't enough."

Now the goal is about 200 movies a year, "and we need up to 6,000 hours of domestic television series," compared with less than 2,000 now, Shvydkoi said.