Current Time, an up-and-coming player in the Russian media market, will mark on Tuesday, Feb. 7 the formal launch of its 24/7 digital and TV stream.
With a mission to bring real news to Russian-speaking audiences everywhere, Current Time is engaging audiences from Lithuania to Kazakhstan and providing an alternative to Kremlin-sponsored media. The day-long video stream builds on the successes of individual daily news programs started in 2014 and 2015.
First and foremost a digital news and current affairs network, Current Time’s daily lineup features hourly live newscasts and sharp political debate, in addition to innovative programs covering business, entrepreneurship, civil society, and culture. It is also a leading destination for documentary films that are otherwise unavailable inside Russia.
“Led by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in cooperation with the Voice of America (VOA), the Current Time digital network is a signature accomplishment of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG),” said BBG CEO and Director John Lansing. “Current Time embodies all of the priorities I set forth to maximize the agility, efficiency and impact of the BBG networks and allow us to more effectively address the rapidly evolving global media environment.”
Public demand for Current Time’s content is reflected in its wide distribution network, comprising 32 cable affiliates in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Germany, and Israel. Its live video stream is available across Eurasia, to more than 7.3 million subscribers to 36 satellite, cable, and IPTV services. The stream is also hosted on the digital platforms filmon.tv and MeGoGo, with more than 100 million monthly users, and on the Eutelsat Hotbird-8 satellite, which reaches 135 million households from Iceland to Turkey.
While TV remains the dominant media platform in much of Current Time’s target region, the network’s innovative digital unit takes the network’s content direct to growing mobile and web audiences, who have viewed its clever social videos on corruption, politics, and the ordinary challenges of daily life more than 160 million times in 2016 on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and Russian social networks such as VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. An average of 1 million people per month visited the network’s website and mobile news and video apps.
The network’s Russian name, “Nastoyashchee Vremya,” has a triple meaning that aptly describes Current Time’s purpose — to provide its Russian-speaking audience content that is truthful, current, and real.
VOA delivers news and information in more than 45 languages to a measured weekly audience of more than 236 million people. With 75 years of experience, VOA is a trusted source for accurate information about news events, freedom of expression, civil society, and change.
RFE/RL is a private, independent international news organization whose programs — radio, internet, television, and mobile — reach 27 million people in 26 languages and 23 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus, and the Baltic states.
VOA and RFE/RL are two of the five networks of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency supervising all U.S. government-supported, civilian international media.