Yandex company blog

Yandex’s KinoPoisk HD to exclusively stream Doctor Who and other BBC content in Russia and the CIS

Ready to “exterminate” your boredom this winter and find out what happens in the upcoming season of Doctor Who? We have great news! The TARDIS has officially landed in Russia and the CIS! Following a new deal between our streaming platform, KinoPoisk HD, and BBC Studios, we will become the exclusive video on-demand (VOD) home for all existing series of Doctor Who in Russia, plus the upcoming 12th season of the show. 

Today, together with BBC Studios, we announced a new agreement for KinoPoisk HD to exclusively host over 100 hours per year of brand new BBC premium dramas, comedies, and children’s titles, plus content from a range of British producers in the BBC Studios’ 2020 catalogue.  The new partnership includes a commitment from Yandex to develop BBC Studios scripted formats and AVOD rights to over 150 episodes of BBC Studios’ children’s brands. 

Back in 2013, Yandex acquired KinoPoisk, a popular database for movie information in Russia, with the goal of providing viewers with a central hub for intelligent streaming. As a first step, we added streaming capabilities to KinoPoisk in 2015, and have continued to enhance the service by adding smarter, personalized features for viewers. We also committed to expanding the KinoPoisk catalog,  creating opportunities for viewers to watch entertaining media from various networks and studios. KinoPoisk HD now offers over 9000 films and series to our viewers! In addition to a vast collection of domestic content, we have a catalogue of international series’ from studios such as CBS and ABC Studios, plus licensed content from Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Disney, and Sony Pictures, among others. 

Scripted content produced by BBC Studios, which we started showing in 2018, have been a huge hit on our platform. The most popular BBC series’ on KinoPoisk HD include Doctor Who, Luther, Life on Mars, Misfits, Torchwood, The Durrells, Call the Midwife, War & Peace, and Les Misérables. In fact, the Doctor Who series ranked among the top-15 most-watched programmes on KinoPoisk HD in 2019. We’re thrilled to provide our viewers with even more exclusive content from the BBC Studios with this new licensing partnership.

Aside from the Doctor Who fandom, Russian viewers have an enormous appetite for British drama, including Sherlock and Les Misérables. According to Mediascope*, Sherlock was one of the most-watched international scripted titles on Russian TV over the past three years, topping the list in 2017 and taking the number two slot in 2018 and first quarter of 2019. Les Misérables proved to be the most-watched series during the first quarter of 2019, and it's no surprise why.  Les Misérables brings a blend of 19th-century French upheaval, stellar acting, and, of course, those memorable music numbers, starring Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins. 

Viewers won’t need a “sonic screwdriver” to tune in. KinoPoisk HD subscribers will soon have access to these series on-demand through desktop, smart TVs, and the mobile app. We will release season 12 of Doctor Who in Russia the day after it is broadcast in the UK on January 2, 2020.  These new viewing opportunities will further enhance the experience for millions of viewers on KinoPoisk and those subscribed to Yandex.Plus.  Our Yandex.Plus subscription service provides users a high-value, bundled offering of multiple Yandex services, including unlimited music streaming, ad-free movies, discounts for taxi and car-sharing rides, and other benefits.  Yandex.Plus subscribers receive access to the majority of the KinoPoisk HD catalogue.   

We’re excited about all the great programmes we have lined up for our viewers and the continued high-quality streaming experiences ahead. After all, "we're all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?"

*Mediascope data, ITVR, Russia, 100+ audience, target 4+ all, Date Range: 01/01/2017 - 12/31/2017, 01/01/2018-12/31/2018, 01/01/2019-05/26/2019, 00:00-30:00, category: scripted series, origin: all excluding Russia, Ukraine and post-USSR countries, duration 5+ minutes, all federal channels excluding Carousel.