MUZ-TV Sticks With Top Talent

Russian music TV channel MUZ-TV is sticking with its policy of bringing in international acts to headline the annual awards show it produces for Russian talent.

Vera Borina from St. Petersburg’s Planet Plus, which books the station’s headliners, is bringing in Christina Aguilera and Pussycat Dolls for this year’s June 1 bash at the 16,000-capacity Moscow Olympiski.

MUZ-TV, which was the country’s first station to broadcast round the clock, started the "Premia" awards in 2003 and has built them to the level that their significance in Russia matches that of the MTV Awards. They have a similar prestige to the U.K.’s Brit Awards.

In 2005, the station bridged the gap between national and international talent when Tatu – the teenage girl duo that had a No.1 single throughout most of Europe – topped the bill.

The show was broadcast throughout Russia, the Baltics and neighbouring former Soviet republics including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Although the awards are strictly for Russian talent and the winners selected from a list of nominations from a panel of national record company execs, artists, producers, journalists and other prominent people from many spheres of national culture, the 2005 show swayed MUZ toward thinking the event would have even more clout if the headliners were top international acts.

It worked so well when 50 Cent topped the 2006 bill that Borina looks to have landed the job of finding the international headliners for the foreseeable future.