Call of the Kazakhs

The Challenges of buying for Central Asia

While Kazakhstan considers its population to be on the small side with almost 18 million in 2016 (Uzbekistan holds the cup at more than 31 million), and given its large land area, its population density is among the lowest in the world, the country is still one of the more affluent in the Central Asian region.

According to Denis Alkhovsky, Programming Director of LLP” 31 channel”, the Kazakhstani economy is one with high sensitivity to all world trends associated with the cost of energy commodities. Depreciation of the national currency – the most recent being at the start of 2016 – created difficulties for import-dependent companies.

Notable changes were observed in the consumer market and, as a result, advertising volume within Kazakhstan dropped. Under such circumstances, TV channels had to reduce the purchasing volume of foreign content; the value of content was also affected due to increased exchange rate of the US dollar and the Euro.

The inflection point formed when advertising volume within the TV market fell by 17% (2015 to 2016) at the same time its national currency devalued by almost 50% to the US dollar. 

Almost all Kazakhstani TV channels reviewed their price policy downwards with regard to content buy. However, Channel 31 is looking for ways of procuring high-quality content at an acceptable value.

Not to mention that at present, there is also a growing demand in Kazakhstan for local television production. For example, JSC Republican Television and Radio Corporation Kazakhstan made its first documentary – a trilogy about equestrian nomadic culture that tells about the discovery of the origin of the culture of breeding horses in the steppes of Central Asia – with partner EQUUS Production INC, a Canadian production company. The second feature film with the working title "Love in Yili" is being made with the Chinese television channel CCTV-7, a channel owned by CCTV, the flagship TV channel in China.

The rate of development of digital in Kazakhstan is lower than that of Russia and other eastern CIS- countries, yet within the Central Asian Region, the country is rather progressive. In 2006, Channel 31 adopted the 16:9 broadcasting format ahead of most channels. It has its own internet resource and portal where streaming is being implemented in full, with additional distribution routes being implemented as smart-applications in main TV-set brands, as well as mobile apps like the AppStore and PlayMarket.

JSC Republican Television and Radio Corporation Kazakhstan, a state television and radio company that carries out the information policy of the country, has not rested on its laurels, boasting its own digital delight, a platform service at, where all its programs and TV series of Qazaqstan, QAZSPORT, and Balapan are stored centrally. In the future, the broadcaster plans to improve this service by using it as an online aggregator. “This service is very functional and supports subscriptions, video monetization, large traffic, internal social network and mobile version,” said Yerlan Karin, Chairman of the Board of the Republic TV & Radio Corporation, JSC.

Yerlan Karin
Chairman of the Board
Republic TV & Radio Corporation, JSC 

  • Flagship channel
  • Currently cooperates with the TV channels of Central Asia and nearby countries (Kyrgyzstan, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan) in the distribution of series of its own production

About Republic TV & Radio Corporation, JSC 

  • First to show Korean series
  • Currently focused on Japanese & Filipino series

Popular Foreign Content

  • Family dramas
  • Love stories
  • Stories of relationships & friendships

Current Foreign Successes

  • Adaptation of the format "Intervilles" (France) under the name "Namys Doda" (Competition of Honor)
  • Adaptation of the format "The Voice" (Holland) under the name "Kazakhstan Dauysy" (The Voice of Kazakhstan)
  • Indian TV series "BalikaVadhu" (Kelin)
  • Korean TV series (Zhumong)

Selling to Kazakhstan

  • Recommended to offer series without pathos, finesse, crime and exposed scenes
  • Simple living conditions and usual family stories are urged
  • Recommended for the audience 0+ and 6+ are animation without monsters and cruelty
  • Instructive and entertaining series
  • Possibly documentary type in the transmission cycle

Currently Looking for

  • New directions & new trends in the TV market
  • New formats for intellectual, gaming, music and entertainment show programs
  • Any new global hit

Also Considering 

  • Similarities in culture and traditions
  • Plans to produce joint projects with APAC TV (especially popular program formats)

Denis Alkhovsky
Programming Director
LLP" 31 channel"


  • Entertainment channel in Kazakhstan for the whole family
  • Part of international holding company,  CTC Media

About LLP" 31 channel"

  • Entertainment & information (self- produced programs)
  • Popular domestic & foreign serials
  • Talk-shows

Popular Foreign Content

  • Hollywood movies
  • Animations

Current Foreign Successes

  • Recently begun using foreign formats for local productions
  • Adaptation of the format “I’m a Singer” (Korea), where participants also come from China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tatarstan, among others
  • Indian & Turkish melodramatic serials (trend over the last 4 years)
  • Hollywood movies
  • Full-length animation

Selling to Kazakhstan

  • American & European serials are not popular
  • Russian & Asian serials are in high demand

To Note:
Legal limitations on content volume – 50% has to be in the Kazakh language


Currently Looking for

  • Any new trends in series & entertainment shows
  • Programs & products in line with Kazakh mindset – e.g., Asian melodramatic serials which currently are represented by India, Turkey and/or Philippines
  • Formats of entertainment musical shows or quiz programs