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New Russian OTT service rolls out

Russian retail and banking group Trellas has launched a new hybrid OTT TV service, TVzor, with an ambition to sign up 100,000 users in the first year.

Trellas, which operates the Svyaznoy retail and banking chain, has teamed up with Israeli technology group Vidmind to launch the service. Vidmind, which is providing a cloud-based hybrid OTT and digital-terrestrial platform for the service, has also made a US$30 million investment in Vidmind.

TVzor aims to provide a primary TV service for Russian households combining free-to-air digital channels with OTT catch-up TV and premium VOD via a hybrid set-top box. The service is also available on multiple screens, including PCs, android and Apple devices, and smart TV portals.

Boxes can be purchased from Svyaznoy retails stores or online, with plans to expand to other retail outlets soon.

“The time has come for a new player on the Russian TV scene – one who can capture the big screen by offering a primary TV service and an affordable STB,” said Mikhail Nepomnyaschy, CEO of TVzor. “Vidmind provided us with a turnkey solution that allowed us to leapfrog two generations within the Russian TV broadcasting landscape and let us focus on what we do best – content and marketing.”

“We are excited about working with TVzor because it is a textbook example of how a retailer can become a virtual TV operator fairly quickly and at minimal cost and risk,” said Danny Peled, CEO of Vidmind. “The emergence of virtual operators means a better, more affordable and personalized TV experience for users worldwide. We’re pleased to be able to empower these innovative companies with the means to create a strong and competitive TV service.”