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MTG appoints Virgin exec to Viasat COO role

Modern Times Group (MTG) has appointed former Virgin Media executive Aleks Habdank as chief operating officer of Viasat Broadcasting’s pay-TV and emerging markets operations.

Habdank, who is due to take up his new role on May 7, will manage Viasat Broadcasting’s pay-TV channel operations in Central and Eastern Europe, and develop its pay-TV business in emerging markets.

Based in London, Habdank will report to Irina Gofman, CEO of MTG’s Russian, CIS and emerging market pay-TV operations.

He joins from Virgin Media in the UK where he was mostrecently director of digital entertainment products, and was responsible for TiVo, linear TV, video-on-demand, online and multiscreen services – including the launch of Virgin Movies and Virgin TV Anywhere.

Prior to this Habdank was general manager of Chello OnDemand, part of Liberty Global’s Chellomedia content division, and he also previously worked for NTL.

“We are very happy to have Aleks on board. His strong digital background and intimate knowledge of the Eastern European and international markets makes him the perfect candidate to develop our ever-increasing portfolio of pay-TV channels, and to grow our satellite andonline pay-TV subscriber bases across our territories,” said Gofman.

Viasat Broadcasting’s emerging market pay-TV operations sell pay-TV packages on the Viasat satellite platforms in the Baltics and Ukraine, and on the joint venture Raduga TV satellite platform in Russia. Viasat also distributes 35 channels via third party pay-TV networks to subscribers in 31 countries across Central and Eastern Europe, Africa and the United States.