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CTC Focusing on Local Programming

CTC Media, the U.S.-traded owner of Russia's fifth-largest television channel, will stem ratings losses this year by switching to locally produced series that are less expensive to air than imported shows, according to Troika Dialog.

CTC Media began airing "Doctor Zaitseva's Diary" this month, a romantic drama set in Russia and produced in-house and will start broadcasting a new comedy series called "Eighties" on Jan. 30, according to the company's website.

"They are learning from their past mistakes and are now concentrating on relatively inexpensive and yet popular with Russian audiences in-house productions, as opposed to broadcasting expensive Hollywood blockbusters," said Anna Lepetukhina, an analyst at Troika. "While 2011 was extremely bad for CTC Media, 2012 can prove to be a turning point for them. They can for sure stabilize their share of the audience."

The average daily share of viewers for CTC Media's television channel, the company's biggest source of advertising revenue, fell to below 7 percent last month, from 7.5 percent in November and 7.9 percent in October, according to weekly data from TNS Gallup Media. CTC Media uses TNS Gallup data in its financial reports.

Troika forecasts advertising spending in Russia will increase by as much as 9 percent in 2012 from 2011, with as much as 6 percent growth in spending on television, according to the report.

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