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With more than 500,000 people living in Canada, Russian expats constitute a large community, having its own distinctive culture and language. Certainly, this creates a need for quality content available in Russian.

In this context, television remains one of the most popular media, providing both entertaining and informational content. Thus, in this article, we’d like to focus on Russian television in Canada and explain how you can enjoy quality Russian programs even thousands of miles away from homeland.

Russian TV in Canada

For those of you, willing to stay in touch with Russian TV programming in Canada, there are multiple ways where you can find it.

Watch Russian TV online

Fortunately, many popular Russian TV channels have either an online version available for streaming wherever you are or a YouTube channel with regular recordings of TV shows.

For instance, try Channel 1 – probably, the most well-known Russian channel broadcast all around the world.

Besides, here are the most popular Russian TV channels as for 2017, according to their viewership.  Check it to see who made it to the top.

However, there are several issues you need to be aware of. First of all, not all Russian channels have an online version. Even if they do, the TV will be broadcast by Moscow time, which is not very convenient if you live on the other side of the world.

Besides, not all content will be available to the international audience. You’ll likely come across the sign “The video is not available in your region” from time to time. This is especially common if you watch some programs on YouTube, Vimeo, or similar media player.

The problem is that many programs are restricted from being shown outside Russia. Certainly, there’s a way to mitigate the issue using VPNs. Nevertheless, it will slow down your Internet speed so that you can forget about HD quality of your favorite HD shows. Not to mention the hidden fees: connecting through some popular servers (Germany, Netherlands, Poland, etc.) is generally free of charge, but when you go for a more specific country (e.g. Russia or Ukraine), chances are access to these will be provided only on the basis of a premium subscription. So make sure it’s worth the candle before choosing this option.

Finally, not all TV programs are available online. Basically, only central nationwide Russian TV channels can afford this luxury. Thus, if you are not satisfied with the content available there, the next section is for you.

Watch Russian TV on subscription

If you want to watch Russian TV on regular basis, without sacrificing the quality or being tied to a particular time zone, OTT providers have a solution for you.

Following the recent trend of video-on-demand, there’s been a significant rise of IPTV providers, offering global television on a subscription basis. The biggest advantage of this method is that you can stream TV shows on many devices in the highest quality available without regard to where you currently reside.

Mediacast, for example, has Timeshift feature. It archives all TV programs for 7 days, allowing viewers from all over the world to watch Russian TV channels online whenever you want it. Or if you want to watch Russian television according to the official TV program, Timeshift can adjust programming to your timezone. This way you’ll no longer need to stay up all night to see a new episode of your favorite TV series. Turn on your device whenever it’s convenient for you and watch the show in the best quality.

In terms of pricing, IPTV is very affordable, with most subscription plans starting at $10 per month. Moreover, there‘s often a free plan with a limited number of channels. So if you find what you are looking for there, chances are you won’t have to spend a cent on it.

Canadian TV in Russian

Apart from Russian TV channels, there are also some Canadian ones created for minorities. One of the examples is RTVi, Russian language channel owned by Ethnic Channels Group with headquarters in Toronto

RTVi went on air in 2004, following the decision of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to establish a TV channel targeted at the Russian-speaking population. Ever since then, RTVi has been broadcast for Russian expat groups in North America and Israel.

The channel has mixed programming with both Canadian and Russian TV shows. It covers a range of programs spanning informational, news, sports programs, international movies, documentaries, soap operas, shows for kids, etc.

Yet, RTVi is not the only exception. Canadian TV now features a range of Russian language TV channels broadcast with the support of Ethnic Channels Group. Among these are:

  • Russian Illusion (movie channel mostly showing nostalgic films from the 60-80s).
  • RT – Russia Today (Russian international news channel broadcast 24/7 giving an opinion on today’s state of affairs in the world).
  • KHL (sports channel with 40+ games per week).
  • CTC International (an international version of one of the most popular entertainment Russian TV channels with a focus on entertaining content).
  • RTR Planeta (the most popular entertainment channel in Russia).
  • TV Rain (an independent channel covering recent events, culture, political and economic highlights, etc.).
  • TVCI (a channel from Moscow, specializing in entertainment programs as well as on political and analytical news items).
  • Detskiy (TV shows, cartoons, and movies for children).

Summing Up

Given the fact that Russian expat community constitutes a large minority in Canada, the question of providing quality content in Russian has always been an acute issue, raising numerous discussions on forums and social media.

Fortunately, today’s digitalization and entertainment market growth allowed many opportunities of watching Russian TV online, often completely free of charge.

For those of you who want to keep in the loop on what‘s going on in Russia, there are several options, including online versions of Russian TV channels, YouTube, IPTV providers, or Canadian channels created for the Russian-speaking population.

Comparing the alternatives, it is clear that IPTV covers the most diverse programming, with virtually all Russian channels available for streaming in HD quality and without connection to Russian time zone.

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