Taking advantage of audiences’ newfound interest in international and one-of-a-kind content, Sovtelexport has put the best of Russia’s productions on display, signing an array of major deals for its period dramas with important linear and OTT players, both in Latin America and all over the world.

One of the most notable trends to come out of the past two years of pandemic was the rise in the demand for content, as audiences around the world turned to their TVs for news and entertainment during quarantine. And these audiences were also more open to new types of content, with non-English language titles and original productions from the international market taking center stage.

Armed with one of the most notable catalogs in the Russian market, Sovtelexport, the distribution arm of Russia TV and Radio, was able to rise to the challenge and meet this demand with a varied offer for all types of platforms and partners.


“We see growing diversity in content a positive thing”, said Julia Matyash, director of Sovtelexport. “New platforms and TV channels are ready to consider the most unexpected offers. The audience itself is now more inclined to accept the content produced in different countries, its suspicion towards it was replaced with increased interest.”

“Our content is distinguished by versatility of themes. Viewers of any nationality will find the stories we offer relatable and engaging,” she added. Russia Television and Radio’s catalog comprises many film adaptations of classical literature, such as Idiot and Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov, as well as works by modern authors, among which are Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes, Blackout, Cloister.

And within this varied catalog, there’s one genre that stands out: “Period dramas and film-versions of the Russian classics remain our hallmark. Buyers’ interest in them is strong”, said Matyash, something proven by the array of deals the distributor signed during the last year.

For instance, Mexico’s major public TV company Televisión Metropolitana, S.A. de C.V. has acquired broadcasting rights for the TV drama, The Terrible. Mexican viewers will witness brilliant acting performances, luscious costumes and decorations, as well as great battle scenes on the largest culture TV channel in the country, Canal 22.

Anna Karennina

In addition, TV series Ekaterina, Ekaterina, Season 2, Sophia, Two Legends, Anna Karenina, Wolfpack, as well as features Kandahar and The Soul of a Spy were acquired by Pluto to be featured in their online library.

Also Sovtelexport has signed a multi-title agreement with the largest Latin-American AVOD platform, ViX. The package comprises top-rating costume dramas Ekaterina, Sophia, Anna Karenina, as well as action films from the Wolfpack cycle.

These major deals are proof of two notable trends for the distributor: on the one hand, how important Latin America is in its international distribution strategy. “As I mentioned, in Latin America our projects have been already presented on VIX, Pluto and Amazon Prime,” the executive explained.

And on the other hand, the distributor’s increased investment in the OTT market, with deals signed with major platforms and services all over the world.


“We are actively working towards expanding our list of partners in this field, including both local and pan-regional services,” she explained, listing an array of recent deals with OTT platforms: TV series The Optimists: Caribbean Season’ has been featured on SBS On Demand VOD platform in Australia, The Terrible was purchased by the major Polish streaming service CDA Premium, the Kresty documentary was included in the Netflix catalog, the ‘Firing Range’ show streamed at iQiyi, and two seasons of Ekaterina was sold to the HULU Japan video platform.

And far from settling with all these deals, the distributor is always seeking to grow even further. “As always, we are looking forward to keeping the distribution rate high and strengthening the relationships with our foreign partners,” Matyash said. “The number of new TV companies and streaming platforms is growing as well as their thirst for new content. We update our catalogue with fresh high-quality titles regularly, and we definitely have something to offer to the market.”


This spring, Sovtelexport is presenting Elizaveta, a new costume series about Peter the Great’s daughter ascension to the throne. “It is an exciting adventure drama, where the real historical events meet dynamic and intriguing plot, gorgeous costumes and scenery, as well as brilliant performances from the young and talented cast,” said Julia Matyash, director of Sovtelexport.


“Period dramas about monarchs’ lives are international bestsellers. Three seasons of the Ekaterina series became a smashing success worldwide, having been featured on TV channels and streaming services in 104 countries. And Elizaveta has every chance to beat the record of Ekaterina.”