Russian Orthodox TV expands into CIS, Europe

Russia''s first Orthodox television network began satellite broadcasts to other former Soviet republics and to Western Europe on Wednesday.

The privately-owned broadcaster has so far been on air for 12 hours per day, but plans eventually to shift to a round-the-clock schedule. It runs both its own productions and programs bought from other companies. Forty percent of its content relates to Orthodoxy and the remaining 60% deals with broader social topics.

Spas'' broadcasts are operated by Gazcom, a joint venture co-owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom and spacecraft manufacturer Energia. Gazcom currently holds 20% of Russia''s communications satellite market.

RIA Novosti