Channel One Russia
Channel One is the first television channel to broadcast in the Russian Federation. Its headquarters are located at Ostankino Technical Center near the Ostankino Tower in Moscow.
First among Russia's country-wide channels, Channel One has more than 250 million viewers worldwide.
From 1995 to 2002 the channel was known as Public Russian Television or Russian Public Television.
HistoryWhen the Soviet Union was abolished, the Russian Federation took over most of its structures and institutions. One of the first acts of Boris Yeltsin's new government was his signing of a presidential decree on 27 December 1991, providing for Russian jurisdiction over the central television system. The 'All-Union State TV and Radio Company' was transformed into the 'Russian State TV and Radio Company Ostankino'.
A presidential decree of 30 November 1994 transformed Ostankino into a closed joint-stock company, Russian Public TV. The shares were distributed between state agencies and private shareholders, including numerous banks. The partial privatization was inspired by the intolerable financial situation of Ostankino owing to huge transmission costs and a bloated payroll.
Following the 1998 financial collapse, the channel obtained a government loan of $100 million from state-controlled bank Vneshekonombank. Also in 1998, the closed joint stock company was transformed into an open stock company. However, controlling votes on the board of directors remained in the hands of structures linked to then-Kremlin-connected businessman Boris Berezovsky. Thanks to this state of affairs, Berezovsky was able to preserve control over the channel's cash flows as well as over its editorial line until 2002.
From 1 April 1995 until late 2002, the channel was called ORT. It maintained the traditional programs and shows of the First Channel of the Soviet Television, such as Vremya, KVN, Chto? Gde? Kogda?, V mire zhivotnykh and Travelers' Club; the last two are no longer on the air of this channel.
Political coverageIn autumn of 1999 the channel actively participated in State Duma electoral campaign by criticizing Moscow mayor Yuriy Luzhkov, Yevgeny Primakov and their party Fatherland-All Russia, major opponents of the pro-Putin party Unity. Sergey Dorenko, popularly dubbed as TV-killer, was a close ally of business oligarch and media magnate Boris Berezovsky. From September 1999 to September 2000 he hosted the influential weekly program simply called Sergey Dorenko's Program on Saturdays at 9 pm. This was especially heavy on criticism and mercilessly attacked Putin's opponents.
In August 2000, however, his program criticized how the Putin government handled the explosion of the Russian submarine Kursk. When Dorenko's show was in turn suspended on 9 September 2000, ORT director-general Konstantin Ernst insisted that — contrary to Dorenko's allegations — the government had not been involved in the change. Ernst stated that he yanked the show because Dorenko had defied his orders to stop discussing the government's plan to nationalize Boris Berezovsky's 49-percent stake in the network.
Berezovsky claims that in 2001 he was forced by the Putin administration to sell his shares. He first tried to sell them to a third party, but failed. A close friend of Berezovsky, Nikolai Glushkov, was arrested while seriously ill, and Berezovsky gave up the shares and transferred them to Roman Abramovich's Sibneft with the understanding that Glushkov would then be released. This promise was not fulfilled. Soon after Berezovsky's withdrawal, the new ownership changed the channel's name to Pervy Kanal. Konstantin Ernst remains as general director. As of 2008, Channel One's minority shares are held by three little-known companies, ORT-KB, Eberlink2002, and Rastrkom-2002. Their parent companies are domiciled in Panama and Seychelles and are managed by Evrofinans Group. The ultimate owner is still believed to be Roman Abramovich, who also controls the Video International advertising agency, the exclusive media seller of Channel One.
Russian television media in the Putin era have been criticised for the pro-government bias. The critics charge that Channel One's news and information programs are frequently used for propaganda purposes. These critics contend that Channel One airs a disproportionate number of stories focusing on positive aspects of official government policy, while largely neglecting certain controversial topics such as war in Chechnya or social problems. In addition, some have argued that the station's news reports often blur the line between factual reporting and editorial commentary, especially when broadcasting stories concerning Russian government policies or goals. For example, during the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections, many political observers believe the Russian government actively supported the candidacy of then Ukrainian Prime-minister Viktor Yanukovych over that of Viktor Yushchenko. In a 13 October 2004 news story, Channel One reporter Natalya Kondratyuk declared that "the Premier , as a candidate, is adding to his ratings by working on the economy and by solving current social problems; he does not use slogans; he is not criticizing his opponent; and he is not creating scandals. Yushchenko’s style of campaigning is diametrically opposite."
In another controversial example, on a 23 January 2005 broadcast, in the midst of widespread protests against a new reform of Russia's social benefits system, a Channel One anchor opined, "you can understand, and should understand, those who went out on the streets, but you also have to understand that the old system has completely outlived its use." Later, in the same story, a reporter characterized those protesting against the reforms as political opportunists, adding, "criticizing the reform is good PR." A few days later, on 27 January 2005, as the protests continued across Russia, a Channel One reporter noted, "You can understand the elderly repealing free fares was the last hope for public transport."
Similarly, on a 12 February 2005 broadcast, a Channel One anchor declared, "The key question of the week has been: how are Presidents Mikheil Saakashvili| Saakashvili ) and Yushchenko different? At first, it seemed the difference was only in their appearance, in all other ways, they were like characters from the film for us." Critics of Channel One news argue that hundreds of similar examples exist where station news reporters and anchors insert editorial commentary into news reports, almost always to commend perceived allies of Russia or criticize perceived enemies.
As of 2006, Vladimir Posner, Ekaterina Andreeva, Petr Tolstoy and Mikhail Leontiev are among the most prominent political journalists of the channel. On Sunday, 28 January 2006, the Channel One news and analytical program Sunday Time hosted by Petr Tolstoy distorted the content of a speech by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko related to the Russia-Belarus energy dispute to the contrary by editing it and deleting some crucial words.
According to a BBC News analysis by Stephen Ennis the channel has in its reports about Ukraine's War in Donbass "sought to further demonise and dehumanise the Ukrainian army".
A 16 January 2016 Channel One news reports on a 13-year-old girl with German and Russian citizenship in Berlin who was allegedly raped by immigrants was denounced by the German police as fake. German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has accused the Russian government of using the alleged rape for "political propaganda".
On 26 February 2018 Channel One used footage from multinational military simulation organization Echelon International, attempting to pass it off as authentic Syrian War footage.
Original programming on historical themesSome of the television period dramas produced by Channel One were series criticized for low level of historical accuracy, for instance – Brezhnev, The Saboteur, Yesenin and Trotsky.
Cruelty to animalsThe morning of 12 January 2008 on the program Health with Elena Malysheva about Guillain–Barré syndrome, in one of the sections a rat was violently killed. Some of the viewers said, first, that this was intolerable in a program whose audience includes children and, secondly, it was contrary to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. In particular, some claim that viewing such violent and cruel scenes poorly affected the health of some children and people.
BroadcastingThe main broadcasting center is in Ostankino tower, Moscow. In September 2008 the channel installed new digital audio mixing systems in their new state-of-the-art broadcast complex located in the Ostankino Television Technical Centre in Moscow. The new Channel One news facility opened in March 2008 and features advanced server technology with equipment from the world's leading television equipment manufacturers such as Thomson, EVS, and HP. Spearheading the transition of the renovated news facilities was Okno TV. Channel One began broadcasting a 1080i high-definition signal on 24 December 2012.
ProductionChannel One has produced many films, including four of the highest-grossing Russian movies after the Soviet collapse, Night Watch, The Turkish Gambit, Day Watch, and The Irony of Fate 2. It airs the Russian adaptations of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Survivor, and Star Factory, as well as many homegrown productions.
- * Good Night, Little Ones!
- * Sesame Street
- * Yeralash
- * Big Difference – sketch comedy
- * Calambur – sketch comedy
- * Oba-na – comedy
- * Gusto
- * Adjutants of Love – telenovela
- * Azazel – Boris Akunin adaptation
- * Brezhnev – biopic
- * Brief Guide To A Happy Life – romantic drama
- * Catherine the Great – biopic
- * Children of the Arbat – Anatoly Rybakov adaptation
- * The Dark Side of the Moon – detective series
- * The Dawns Here Are Quiet – war
- * Deadly Force – detective series
- * Empire under Attack – history
- * Ex-Wife
- * The Fall of the Empire – history
- * Hot Ice – sports drama
- * House with Lilies – period drama
- * Investigation Held by ZnaToKi – detective series
- * Klim – detective series
- * The Life and Adventures of Mishka Yaponchik – biopic
- * Mata Hari – biopic
- * The Method – detective series
- * Moscow Saga – Vasili Aksyonov adaptation
- * Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno – biopic
- * Pyotr Leschenko. Everything That Was... – biopic
- * Raid – detective series
- * Russian Translation
- * A Second Before... – fantasy
- * Silver Spoon – crime
- * The Sniffer – detective series
- * Spetsnaz – war
- * Streets of Broken Lights – detective series
- * The Thaw
- * The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas adaptation
- * Trace – detective series
- * Trifles of Life – telenovela
- * Trotsky – biopic
- * Wedding Ring – telenovela
- * Yesenin – biopic
- Game shows
- * All or Nothing
- * Field of Wonders
- * :ru:Народ против |The People Versus
- * The Weakest Link
- * What? Where? When?
- Reality shows
- * Star Factory – talent show
- * Last Hero – version of Survivor
- * Let's Get Married – helping people find people they are right for
- * Minute of Fame – talent show
- * One to One! – talent show
- * The Voice – talent show
- * The Voice Kids – talent show
- * Lednikoviy period – ice skating show
- * Football Review
- Talk shows
- * Evening Urgant – Ivan Urgant's talk show
- * Good Morning
- * Gordon – Alexander Gordon's talk show
- * Let Them Talk Dmitri Borisov's talk show
- * Posner – Vladimir Posner's current affairs program
- * Prozhektorperiskhilton – satirical talk show with Ivan Urgant, Garik Martirosyan, Sergei Svetlakov and Alexander Tsekalo
- * Vremâ – news program, on air since 1968
- * In the World of Animals – zoology
- * Song of the Year – music festival
- * Till 16 and older... – problems of young people
- * Travelers' Club – travel
- * Vzglyad'' – current affairs
International series that were broadcasting on Channel One
- American series
- * Lost
- * Lie To Me
- * Ugly Betty
- * FlashForward
- * Boardwalk Empire
- * Body of Proof, the series premiered on 7 February 2011.
- * Suits premiered on 26 September 2011
- * Terra Nova premiered on 27 September 2011
- * White Collar
- * Californication
- * Ray Donovan
- * Bates Motel
- Brazilian telenovelas
- * Tropicaliente April – December 1995
- * Mulheres de Areia – 3 January July 1996
- * A Próxima Vítima July 1996 – winter 1997
- * O Rei do Gado 1997–1998
- * Anjo mau 1998
- * Avenida Brasil 2013
- * Forbrydelsen premiered on 28 September 2011
- * Sherlock
- Japanese series
- * Doraemon
Former International and Russian animated series
- Nu, Pogodi! 1969–1998
- Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies
- Alvin and the Chipmunks
- Challenge of the GoBots 1994
- Les Misérables 1995
- Widget Autumn – Winter 1995
- Andy Panda 1995–1996
- Woody Woodpecker 1995 – December 1997
- Monster Force 22 January – 7 February 1996
- Dog City 1996
- The Legend of Prince Valiant Summer 1996
- Fievel's American Tails Summer 1996, April – May 2002
- Exosquad Autumn 1996
- The Pink Panther 1996–1997, 1998
- Orson & Olivia Winter-Spring 1997
- The Legends of Treasure Island Spring 1997
- The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest 30 October 1997 – 29 October 1998
- Albert - the 5th Musketeer Autumn 1998
- Action Man 9 March – 23 April 1999
- Around the World in 80 days May–July 1999
- Phantom 2040 – 10 July September 1999
- Beast Wars 29 November 1999 – 20 January 2000
- Extreme Ghostbusters 23 January – 29 March 2000
- 13 November 2000 – 2002
- Pororo the Little Penguin 2 December 2002 – 18 May 2009
- Fly Tales 12 September 1999 – present
- Kaput and Zösky 14 June 2003 – present
- Tayo the Little Bus 10 May 2010 – present
- Cocomong 2008–present
- The Flying House 1992–1993, 1994
- Maya the Bee 1991–1993
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 1994
- Topo Gigio 21 November 1994 – January 1995
- Wonder Beat Scramble January – March 1995
- Pokémon 18 December 2000 – 3 September 2001
- Yume no Crayon Oukoku 2001 – 2002
- Ojamajo Doremi 2003 – 2006
- Ashita no Nadja 2007
- Chimpui 2008 – 2009
Walt Disney Presents
- DuckTales 1991, 1992
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 1991, 1992
- Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears 1992
- TaleSpin 1992
Management and shareholders
2005According to the inspection conducted by the Audit Chamber of Russia and initiated by MP Alexander Lebedev, in 2005 the channel had the following shareholders structure and board of directors:
- Rosimushchestvo – 38.9%;
- ORT Bank Consortium – 24%;
- RastrKom 2002 – 14%;
- EberLink – 11%;
- ITAR TASS – 9.1%;
- TTTs – 3%.
2006As of 2006, the Board of Directors of the Channel One consisted of:Eurovision Song Contest 2009, announced in December 2008, in a press conference at the GUM shopping centre.
Channel One director Konstantin Ernst was present at the press conference.
ActiveChannel One owns some digital-only television channels :
- Dom Kino | Cinema House — movies;
- Dom Kino Premium | Cinema House Premium — movies;
- Muzyka Pervogo | Channel One Music — music;
- Vremya | Time — 20th century history;
- Telecafe | Television Café — food;
- Bobyor | Beaver — lifestyle;
- O | O — family;
- Poyekhali | Let's Go;— travel;
- Karusel | Carousel – for children;
- Telenyanya | TeleNanny — for children;