Russian TV channels see uptick in views of U.S. election news

From noon until 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 9, the live transmission of the Rossiya 24 TV channel on the Vesti.ru and Russia.tv sites had 560,000 views.

From noon until 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 9, the live transmission of the Rossiya 24 TV channel on the Vesti.ru and Russia.tv sites had 560,000 views.

Pavel Smertin/TASS
The aftermath of the U.S. presidential elections drove Russian viewers online to check out live news streams.

Three major Russian TV channels — Channel One, Rossiya 24 and Life TV — registered a significant growth in viewer interest on Nov. 9 due to the U.S. elections. On the Life TV channel, the number of viewers doubled in comparison with videos related to its coverage of the Russian State Duma elections in September.

From noon until 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 9, the live transmission of the Rossiya 24 TV channel on the Vesti.ru and Russia.tv sites had 560,000 views — a significant increase from its average daily view numbers of 300,000-400,000, said Marat Akhmetzhanov, director of Internet sites at VGTRK, the parent company of Rossiya 24.

During the same period, Rossiya 24’s YouTube channel registered more than one million views of the channel's live feed. On an average day, all of VGTRK's news content combined receives 1.5-2 million views. "The video with Trump's first statement on our channel is being viewed on YouTube at a speed of 120,000 views per hour. It has already become a YouTube trend on the Russian-speaking section," Akhmetzhanov said.

Channel One, for its part, registered a 20-25 percent growth rate in its online live stream on Nov. 9, said the channel’s director of internet broadcasting Ilya Bulavinov. "By the end of the day, this indicator can be 35 percent if we consider the predicted increased interest in the Vremya program at 9:00 p.m. This is standard growth for days in which important events take place. The interest is heightened but not explosive," Bulavinov said.

Channel One’s internet channel averages 300,000 views per day and the live stream traffic on Nov. 8 was normal, Bulavinov said.

First published in Russian by RBK Daily.

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