Work in tandem: Ethnic Channels Group and "Russian Express."

October 18, 2014

Horizons of cooperation. "Our activities are carried out in four main directions," says Grigory Antimoni, COO, one of the founders of the Ethnic Channels Group, familiar to tens of thousands of our readers, in Canada and beyond. "

"This is television broadcasting on satellite and cable platforms, the sale of advertising, the production of its own content and the technological provision of all this. Over the past few years, we have made significant progress in creating our own television programs. Today we produce everything from documentaries to very high quality commercials ... "

Our conversation takes place in the new television complex of this company, equipped in accordance with world standards. At present Ethnic Channels Group broadcasts more than 100 television channels in 24 languages.

And it all started like this ... In 2004, Antimoni moved to Toronto from New York, having many years of experience working on American TV channels.

"Slava Levin, my Canadian partner, had an idea," says Grigory, "to create a multi-national television under one umbrella. And then how was it here: worked, say, some Chinese channel, which in China itself has never been heard. Some of the transfers were done by themselves, some were taken by unknown where. According to this model, many local ethnic channels operated.

We decided to go the other way in the beginning: to bring people from the countries from which they came, well-known channels, programs. And to do this exclusively by legal procedure, getting the appropriate rights.

Slava had contacts with the largest Canadian media platforms. I have work experience in America. There were lots of difficulties, both legal and technical. But if you want to build a business based on attracting channels from around the world, you need to be ready for this ...

And what are the features of this business in Canada?

"Canada is a multiethnic country, and most of the ethnic groups living in it want to watch TV programs from where they came from," our interlocutor says. - Immigration today is different, no one breaks ties with his country. And understanding this, we could not remain and grow only within the framework of the Russian-speaking community.

Today, as an example, speaking of ethnic, or national, groups, the priority is South-Asian: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. It repeatedly exceeds the number of immigrants from the former Union. Bringing channels from the "top five" of this region is not easy, but we solved this problem.

Our president comes from India, with a good reputation in the media business, and today we own exclusive rights here in Canada, on the main channel of Asia, ZeeTV, and various channels of the so-called Zee-Family. And this is Bollywood, news, entertainment, political programs. And, of course, the audience of immigrants from these countries is very interesting for advertising agencies, this is another level of business ...

And why did you come up with the idea of partnership with our newspaper?

- We roughly know the size of the Russian advertising market in Toronto. There is a huge number of publications, which continues to increase. Added to this are Internet resources, radio, television. Today, pushing my elbows in this market, I think, has no prospects. So, you need a client, an advertiser who wants both, and the third, having a limited budget, try to make an offer that is adequate to its financial capabilities. But it gives the possibility of advertising in different media spheres, from social networks to standard television and printed formats.

This situation can be called a challenge of time. And Maya the Master, the publisher of the Russian Express, felt it the same way as we did. Such an alliance will unite the capabilities of our companies in the interests of the advertiser ...


Our interlocutor gives a clear example: suppose you have a store or some service in Toronto, in the North York area. In addition to Russian speakers, Poles come to you, Serbs, Indians and others. ECG and the Russian Express can now offer you an advertising package that would interest not only the Russian public, even if it will be sixty percent, but also your other potential customers. Thus, a new advertising product appears on the market, to which common resources are added in social networks, radio and so on.

The idea is very interesting. And what about broadcasting in Russian today?

- Speaking about television, you need to separate several aspects. This satellite and cable, still the priority form for viewing. And, of course, the Internet.

We show RTVI, RTR "Planet", STS, TVCi, "Rain", hockey channel KHL, and two more channels, "Children's" and cinema, "Russian illusion". We continue to work with copyright holders in Russia, and with cable and satellite companies in Canada to expand this list ...

How many viewers do you have?

Generally these figures are confidential. But if we take all our broadcasts, not only in Canada and the US, it's half a million subscribers. And we are broadcasting both to Australia and the Middle East, with completely different channels. For example, in the Middle East, we recently started broadcasting our Philippine channel. We do it ourselves ...


The need to bring television signals to Canada from different countries of the world has led to the creation of a separate company called Nextologies, which deals only with the technological support of broadcasting. It was necessary to find effective ways of signal transmission via the Internet without loss of quality, within the existing standards of cable and satellite communications.


"The demand for life, or rather, the survival of this business, has prompted us to create a new direction, perhaps more promising than television itself," says Gregory. - Because today this company provides not only our own needs, but also provides services to other TV companies all over the world ...


To assess the scale of the channel, say that over the past year here produced about 1000 hours of its own products: advertising, talk shows, music programs and competitions, reports from ethnic festivals and community events. This is the result of the work of a large international team.

We live in a world full of conflicts, problems, complex political and international conflicts. What is your position in covering all this?

"We do not have censorship," Grigory says, "and I consider this to be a completely conscious position in everything related to information." Our most important principle is to avoid a one-sided approach, not to give estimates. If to any channel there is a spectator interest, we consider it our duty to give people the opportunity to watch it. Even if he does not like us. Thinking people should be able to watch everything and draw their own conclusions ...


New times are new opportunities. Success in the media market is determined by the ability and ability to foresee and realize them. And everyone benefits from this - the viewer, the reader, the advertiser, that is, we are with you. And, of course, the media itself ...