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    NTV TO START BROADCASTING IN CHUKOTKA IN SPRING

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    MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - This May, the NTV television company will start broadcasting in the territory of the Chukot autonomous area (the Far Eastern federal district).

    "Chukotka will become the last, 89th member of the Russian Federation, where NTV will start to broadcast its programs," the company's press service said Tuesday.

    Thus, the autonomous area residents will be able to watch programs of all the three federal television channels.

    The press service said NTV programs will be broadcasted in the ten largest populated localities of the area via the Gorizont Syncom on 145 degree longitude.

    The Chukotka population is approximately 100,000 people, half of whom will be able to watch the programs.

    "Taking into account the interest the Chukotka population takes in NTV programs, the area's administration decided to pay a considerable part of the expenditures," said the press service.

    Last year, the NTV channel's audience in Russia totaled 118 million (with the coverage of 81.5% of the Russian territory). In 2004, the broadcaster plans to raise the number of viewers to 123 million and cover 85% of the country's territory, said company officials.

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