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Alexei Zemsky: “I hope NTV will strengthen in second place”

MOSCOW, October 11, Anna Nekhaeva. NTV CEO Alexei Zemsky celebrates his 55th birthday. On television, he and his colleagues developed and implemented domestic equipment and software, promoted the widespread use of VR and AR technologies. On his birthday, Aleksey Vladimirovich gave an interview and spoke about the benefits of cooperation between TV and streaming platforms, the delight of the audience from the reincarnation of Ildar Abdrazakov on the Mask show, and how high-quality sound and picture create a sense of belonging.
— With what feeling do you celebrate your anniversary — have you implemented all of the planned ones or are there still unrealized projects?
— There is always something to strive for, so all thoughts and plans are in the future.

— And how do you see the future of television?

— Competing with other forms of entertainment, it is important for us not to lag behind, but somewhere technologically to be the first. Of course, the formats and genres will remain the same – series, movies, entertainment programs. But they will change towards interactivity.

It is important to create additional content around the main content and offer viewers more tools to engage in what is happening on the screen. These are VR and AR technologies, 360-degree shooting, hbbtv. But the main struggle is around improving the quality of the picture and sound. Now we can produce content in 4K and even 8K if needed. With Dolby Digital 5.1 sound. It seems to me important to be able to do this, not be afraid to experiment and use Russian-made equipment and software for this.
When I worked at the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, we, together with partners, were engaged in the development and implementation of domestic equipment and software for television and radio, which now almost completely uses Russian equipment and software. Russian IT products are not yet 100 percent integrated on television, but solutions for key tasks are already working well. Moreover, even VR technologies for news and central television are also Russian. I'm excited to see how the solutions I've been and are helping to develop are changing the face of our TV. data-crop-ratio=”0.732474964234621″ data-crop-width=”600″ data-crop-height=”439″ data-source-sid=”rian_photo” title=”NTV CEO Alexei Zemsky” class=”lazyload ” width=”1920″ height=”1406″ decoding=”async” />

—Is VR, AR and other technologies really the future of television or a tribute to fashion?

– They still surprise the viewer and are largely aimed at diversifying the content. There is also an economic motive in this. The use of computer graphics and virtual reality elements in prime entertainment programs is sometimes more financially feasible than building bulky, expensive sets. Thanks to VR, planes, cars, military equipment and even people are visualized live on central television. The work of one of the studios of the program “Today in Moscow” is 100 percent built using AR.
We also use AR technologies in entertainment programs: “Mask”, “Showmaskgoon”, “New Year's Mask”. In the new season, they began to create digital avatars in a new project, which is called the Avatar Show. The unique technology was developed for more than six months, it was important for us to create a live show, to maintain direct communication between the participants, the jury and the presenter. “photo” data-crop-ratio=”0.666666666666667″ data-crop-width=”600″ data-crop-height=”400″ data-source-sid=”not_rian_photo” title=”Marie Crymbreri at The Mask Show” class= “lazyload” width=”1920″ height=”1280″ decoding=”async” />

— What NTV content is currently the most popular in your broadcasting grid?
— In the first half of the year there was a surge of interest in the news, we responded to this by increasing the timing of news programs by 16 percent. The ratings have also gone up. The share of the “Results of the Week” program with Irada Zeynalova increased by 18 percent (according to Mediascope – from January 1 to September 25 compared to the same period in 2021. – Ed.).

It is important not only to keep abreast of events, but also to be able to watch something with family and children. And NTV has a high percentage of family audiences. The performance of our children's vocal project “You're Super!” does not lag behind “Show Avatar”.

NTV's action-packed series remain the hallmark of the channel: out of 25 premieres this year, 40 percent are continuations of successful Balabol projects , Ambulance, Likhach, Nevsky, the rest are new items.
I hope that the emerging trend of growth in NTV's media indicators will continue and we will take the second place among Russian TV channels by the end of 2022 (NTV has the second place according to Mediascope for the period from August 20 to October 2. – Ed.).

That is, television is still universal. It has expertise: who, when, what is watching. The so-called handwriting of “TV viewing”. On the other hand, television content on the big screen with high-quality sound and picture gives a sense of belonging to the event “here and now”. In this, I see great potential for us as a media that can give the viewer a cinematic experience at home at a convenient time.

Speaking of specific tools for retaining attention, it should be noted that we have been developing at NTV for more than four years interactive services. So, users of the hbbtv application can scroll the news feed of the channel while watching the NTV broadcast.
— Are you planning to transform the broadcasting schedule in the near future, introduce new formats, add or remove programs?
— Our on-air offer is formed in such a way that on weekdays, during prime time, we work with action-packed series, on weekends – entertainment programs. We will release key premieres following this logic.

In the near future, in addition to series, the lineup of premieres will continue with the launch of the third season of the Superstar! show, hosted by Lolita and Vadim Takmenev . For two years, 18 artists took part in the show, whose popularity peaked in the 1990s and zero. For the New Year, we traditionally prepare a “New Year's Mask” and a large festive “Kvartirnik”.

— What can you say about the competition between TV and streaming platforms? Who is in a better position and why?
— It's fair to talk about cross-media partnerships. As practice shows, launching projects together with VOD platforms ensures the growth of views in both environments, and co-production of content allows, significantly reducing the costs of each of the parties, to implement large-scale stories.
NTV cooperates with the largest VOD sites. Of the strategic partners, this is the Premier online cinema, where 74 projects are available. This year we started working with Rutube, where immediately after the broadcast in the Moscow orbit, the audience has an exclusive access to “Show Avatar” and “You're super!”, and a month later – “Superstar!”.
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Just the other day, a deal with Ivy was announced: NTV series, premieres and archives, will be included in the library of the online cinema. We will launch a joint production: the first projects will be the detective stories “Fear over the Neva”, based on real events that took place in St. Petersburg in 1967, and “Empty Cities” – about the fight against the epidemic and crime in extreme conditions.
< br />— What do you consider the main achievement in your position?
– An important achievement for me next year will be that NTV will celebrate its 30th anniversary in a new building – a modern technological media center, the construction of which was started by Vladimir Kulistikov and Oleg Adamov 11 years ago.

Continuity is an important thing. Leaders may change, but some remain forever. For me, this is the convergence of the Holy Fire and the launch of Moscow news.

NTV has been broadcasting the convergence of the Holy Fire since 2003, during which time we have earned the status quo, the right to broadcast and carried out multi-camera filming in the Church of the Sepulcher of the Lord even in pandemic years. Our broadcast is of constant interest, the average is about 17 percent.
Starting January 17, we started broadcasting local news releases for viewers of the Moscow region – “Today in Moscow” – and balanced information broadcasting in the two capitals, since “Today in St. Petersburg” has been on the air throughout all the years of NTV's existence.
< strong> — What changes do you consider key at NTV? What features appeared in the image of NTV with your arrival on the channel?
– One of the main principles that guides me in life is to act in such a way that later you will not be ashamed to tell your children and grandchildren. I am proud that NTV managed to assemble a team of like-minded people. We do not just create competitive content, but provide real help to those who need it the most. For many years, Segodnya news releases have featured stories calling for help — in 2021 alone, NTV viewers donated more than 130 million rubles.

We deliberately occupied the niche of a socially oriented channel, and such projects as the children's vocal competition “You are super!” and “You're super! 60+” for talented older people have become significant phenomena.

With films from the “My Universities” cycle, we help graduates with the choice of a profession, and folk shows like “Land of Talents” really unite the whole country.
This year for the seventh time “Journey of Santa Claus with NTV” will take place. As part of this campaign, we traveled more than 50 thousand kilometers from Vladivostok to Kaliningrad, visited more than 400 children's social institutions, 400 large and low-income families, gave more than 600 tons of gifts and sweets.
Getting a response from an audience that trusts us, looks broadcast and helps, I understand that 20 years of my work on television have not been in vain.

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