2×2 (TV channel)
|Launched||November 2, 1989|
|Picture format||4:3 (576i, SDTV)|
|Audience share||2.09% (Jan-Sep 2012, TNS Russia)|
(Slyly-Yellow First, special for "The Simpsons" anniversary)
|Broadcast area||Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Saint Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Voronezh, Miass (terrestrial)
Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Georgia (cable networks)
|Natsionalnye Kabelnye Seti||Channel 21|
2×2 (Russian: Дважды два, Dvazhdy dva — "Two-by-two") is Russia's oldest private entertainment TV channel, founded in 1989. It was temporarily closed in 1997 and rebooted in 2002. Since 2007 it specializes in adult-oriented animated series.
Initially, 2×2 broadcast half-hour advertisement blocks, music clips and animations only. It was Russia's first broadcaster ot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, Speed Racer and Highlander, among other things. By 1993 the channel also began to air news programs. In 1993 the administration of 2×2 signed a contract with MTV Europe to translate some programs. There was a peak of popularity in 1994–1995, but the channel was closed down in 1997.
2×2 returned to the airwaves on November 11, 2002. Since then, the channel specialized on adult-oriented cartoon series, most of them American and Japanese programs. Only in 2009 it started broadcasting some live-action material as well. 2×2 introduced Russian audiences to many Adult Swim series, such as Metalocalypse, Sealab 2020, The Boondocks; as well as to various anime series, such as Death Note, Bleach, Afro Samurai, Elfen Lied and One Piece, among many others. Since late 2000s, it is the exclusive Russian broadcaster of South Park.
Controversies and criticism
As the country's largest adult-oriented animation channel, 2×2 is prone to misconsent with the conservative and religious groups, and occasionally with authorities. Since the animation in Russia was traditionally viewed as exclusively children's media, 2×2 has to highlight continually that its programs are not recommended for children.
In February 2008 the Russian Media Culture Protection Department (Rossvyazohrankultura), a regulatory body for TV in Russia, issued warnings about Happy Tree Friends and The Adventures of Big Jeff, claiming that the shows "promote violence and brutality, harm the psychic health and moral development of children, attack the social morality; all of this being a violation of license agreement". The department warned 2×2, which broadcast the shows, to remove them in order to avoid legal issues. 2×2 owners voiced their disagreement, but reluctantly fulfilled the request.
Later that year, activists of the Russian Pentecostalist Church criticized 2×2 for airing South Park and The Simpsons. Their appeal to close 2×2 was rejected by the Russian media officials. On September 24, 2008 the channel's licence was extended for additional 5 years.
In July 2009 2×2 cut a scene from the episode "Free Willzyx" of South Park which depicted Vladimir Putin as "a greedy and desperate leader", prompting "criticism and furious discussion on Russia blogs".
On January 12, 2016, 2×2 will move from analog broadcasting to digital-only. A new channel will replace the channel's analog broadcasting slot, which will air content from TNT.
Shows and films airing on 2×2
- "2x2" (PDF). Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "History Factsheet" (in Russian). Politika.su. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
- Россвязьохранкультура выносит предупреждения редакции телепрограммы «Телеканал 2х2» и ЗАО «Телеканал 2х2» (in Russian). Russian Media Culture Protection Department. Archived from the original on 2008-03-08.
- "Российские протестанты потребовали закрыть телеканал "2x2"" (in Russian). Lenta.Ru. 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
- Holdsworth, Nick (2008-10-20). "Russia's 2X2 wins license renewal". Variety. Archived from the original on 26 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-20.
- "Russian channel cuts Vladimir Putin scene on 'South Park'". The Daily Telegraph. 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2009-08-03.