A new national television station is preparing to launch in Russia this spring. The station, Public Russian Television (OTV), will go head-to-head with stations that are controlled by the Russian government, such as Channel One, NTV and Rossiya. The hope is that it will provide a real alternative to those stations.
Alexei Volin, the deputy communications minister, recently said that OTV's concept was nearly finalized and that the programming that will be on the network is presently being discussed. Volin went on to say that it will premiere on May 19, but did not give any specific details.
The network will be headquartered in Moscow's Ostankino Television Center, near the headquarters of the country's other stations. Journalist Anatoly Lysenko is serving as the channel's general director, with well-known actor Oleg Tabakov serving as the chairman of the board.
In April 2012, then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev decreed the creation of the network. Since then, discussions have occurred as to how the network will be funded, yet independent of the government and its control.
Pilot shows are being filmed for the network already.
The last time a new national public TV channel was launched in Russia was the mid '90s. The station, ORT, was seized and turned into what is now Channel One.