|Launched||1 June 2002|
|Closed||23 June 2003|
|Owned by||Media-Sotsium Partnership|
|Picture format||SECAM (576i 4:3) (SDTV)|
|Replaced||TV-6, NTV Plus Sport|
On January 11, 2002, a separate Russian television channel, TV-6 lost a court battle over bankruptcy and was placed into liquidation by a unanimous decision of thirteen judges of the Russian Supreme Arbitration Court.
At midnight on January 22, 2002 the Press Ministry pulled TV-6 off the air. The frequency was temporarily filled with programming from the NTV Plus Sports satellite channel. The auction for TV-6's old frequency took place on March 27, 2002. The Media-Sotsium partnership won the frequency auction, becoming the licensee and broadcaster, with the employees of the former channel TV-6 forming much of the production staff.
On June 1, 2002 TVS began broadcasting. On July 22, 2002 the Moscow Arbitration Court ruled that MNVK was taken off the air unlawfully.
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Many Russians and foreigners consider TVS' editorial policy to be critical towards the government of Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Kasyanov. It was considered to be the last channel with completely independent editorial policy.
Suffering from low ratings (the main channel projects, Dengi series and reality show Za steklom 3: Teper ty v armii failed) and poor advertising revenue, TVS had many financial problems. TVS's debt to Vneshekonombank (the Bank for Foreign Economic Activity) came to about US$100 million. TVS also owed more than $6 million in back pay to employees, who had not been paid for some three months.
Mostelekom (the city-owned cable operator that carried TVS in Moscow) began switching TVS' signal off Moscow's cable television networks on June 2, 2003, which rendered more than 90% of Moscow residents unable to view it. Mostelekom demanded that the TV company's shareholders pay off arrears of RUB 245,672m ($8 million).
On June 17, 2003 TVS editor-in-chief Evgeny Kiselyov announced that lack of funding had made it impossible for the company to continue operating, and that after June 23 the channel suspended broadcasting.
Stating it was "for viewers' benefit" the Ministry of Press switched off all TVS broadcasts on June 22, 2003 – 24 hours before the shutdown planned by station management was to happen. Like the closure of TV-6 the year before, the regularly scheduled programming was suddenly interrupted by a brief announcement that the channel was "taken off the air" before switching to a testcard. It was widely speculated in the press that such a hurried closure was performed to prevent the final broadcast of Evgeny Kiselyov's "Itogi" show, the only remaining opposition political broadcast at the time. Later MNVK allowed the state all-sports channel to broadcast on the vacant channel 6.
- "Last 'Independent' TV Station Shut Down". Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press. 23 July 2003. Translation of Where The End Began For TVS. Kommersant, June 23, 2003, p. 4. Media-Sotsium was a nonprofit partnership, founded by Arkady Volsky, president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and Yevgeny Primakov, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
- Zolotov Jr., Andrei (31 May 2002). "TV6 Team Goes Back on the Air Saturday". The Moscow Times.
- Boudreaux, Richard (12 January 2002). "Russia's Last Free Channel Dealt a Blow; Media: Higher court rules that the TV station is insolvent and must be liquidated. Critics say the Kremlin is cracking down on free speech". Los Angeles Times: 3. States that there were "13 arbitration judges", not 14.
- Traynor, Ian (12 January 2002). "Kremlin's last TV critic silenced: Senior judges put independent station into liquidation". The Guardian: 15.
- Leonid Parfyonov's Namedni: 2003 summing up
- "Farewell! We are taken off the air"
- "Russia: Rosmediakom to sue former head of TV-6 over non-return of property". BBC Monitoring World Media. 2 October 2003. Text of report by Russian newspaper Kommersant on 24 September
- "Russian TV Channel Finds An Audience - Abroad Kremlin Silences Some Local Critics". The Boston Globe. 28 September 2003.
- Birch, Douglas (6 September 2003). "For Russian television shows, independence is the exception; Years after Soviet rule, government still keeps tight grip on broadcasts". The Baltimore Sun: 1A.
- "Russia: TV Channel To Return Equipment To Moscow-Based Broadcaster". BBC Monitoring International Reports. 7 August 2003. A200308072D-5620-GNW.
- "Last 'Independent' TV Station Shut Down". Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press. 55 (25): 1. 23 July 2003. Translation of: Government Hits The 'Off' Switch Again. -- Yevgeny Kiselyov Doesn't Even Get to Say Goodbye. Kommersant, June 23, 2003, pp. 1, 4.