1TV is a State TV channel based in Moscow (in the Technical Center Ostankino near the Ostankino Tower). It was the first channel to broadcast in the Russian Federation and provides news, documentary, feature film productions, as well as entertainment programs.
Channel One (Russian: Первый канал, tr. Pervyy kanal, IPA: [ˈpʲervɨj kɐˈnaɫ], literally First Channel) is the first television channel to broadcast in the Russian Federation. Its headquarters are located at Ostankino Technical Center near the Ostankino Tower in Moscow.
First among Russia’s country-wide channels, Channel One has more than 250 million viewers worldwide.
From 1995 to 2002 the channel was known as Public Russian Television (Russian: Общественное Российское Телевидение, tr. Obshchestvennoye Rossiyskoye Televideniye, ORT) or Russian Public Television.
When the Soviet Union was abolished, the Russian Federation took over most of its structures and institutions. One of the first acts of Boris Yeltsin’s new government was his signing of a presidential decree on 27 December 1991, providing for Russian jurisdiction over the central television system. The ‘All-Union State TV and Radio Company’ (Gosteleradio) was transformed into the ‘Russian State TV and Radio Company Ostankino’.
A presidential decree of 30 November 1994 transformed Ostankino into a closed joint-stock company, Russian Public TV (Obshchestvennoe Rossiyskoye Televidenie or ORT). The shares were distributed between state agencies (51%) and private shareholders, including numerous banks (49%). The partial privatization was inspired by the intolerable financial situation of Ostankino owing to huge transmission costs and a bloated payroll (total staff of about 10,000 in early 1995).
Following the 1998 financial collapse, the channel obtained a government loan of $100 million from state-controlled bank Vneshekonombank. Also in 1998, the closed joint stock company was transformed into an open stock company. However, controlling votes on the board of directors remained in the hands of structures linked to then-Kremlin-connected businessman Boris Berezovsky. Thanks to this state of affairs, Berezovsky was able to preserve control over the channel’s cash flows as well as over its editorial line until 2002.
From 1 April 1995 until late 2002, the channel was called ORT (ОРТ—Общественное Российское Телевидение, Obshchestvennoye Rossiyskoye Televideniye; Public Russian Television). It maintained the traditional programs and shows of the First Channel of the Soviet Television (RTO), such as Vremya, KVN, Chto? Gde? Kogda?, V mire zhivotnykh and Travelers’ Club; the last two are no longer on the air of this channel.