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Mutant X Articles: 4/28/08 Mutant X in Russia



World Screen 4/28/08

AXN Sci-Fi reaches million in CIS

The AXN Sci-Fi channel has clocked up over one million subscribers since launching in the former Soviet states last December, Sony Pictures Television International (SPTI) has revealed.

AXN Sci-Fi is SPTI's first channel to launch into the Russia/CIS region, and debuted in Ukraine in mid-December 2007. It has since rolled out into Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, with "further negotiations at an advanced stage for additional carriage," said SPTI senior VP of international networks Ross Hair.

The channel is dubbed into Russian and is carried by Volia, the largest cable player in Ukraine, while in Russia talks are underway with major cable platforms such as NTV+, Sistema, Akado (fka Renova) and NCN.

Aimed at 12- to 49-year-olds, the channel is airing Lost from the first season, the Stargate franchise, Mutant X, Kyle XY, Andromeda and Dead Like Me, as well as Stephen King miniseries and Hollywood blockbusters such as Armageddon and Unbreakable.

"Russia and the CIS countries are increasingly important in growing our network's business," explained Hair. "Launching the first-ever network devoted to science-fiction programming in the region is a significant development for our business and for pay-TV subscribers."

He added that the hope is that AXN Sc-Fi "will prove to be as popular in the CIS as it already is with our Central European audiences." The AXN channel already reaches some nine million subscribers in Central Europe, and AXN Sci-Fi has four million in the region.

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