MTS will become a long-term promoter of Comedy Club Production performances. Under the contract, the production company will hold more than 250 events in Russian cities until the end of 2023, while MTS will deal with ticket sales and organizing venues. The operator wants to load its own halls in the regions, and the Comedy Club wants to stabilize income from events, which fell for all shows due to the pandemic. However, a new wave of restrictions can significantly increase the payback period of investments in the project, experts warn.
MTS Entertainment (100% owned by MTS) and Comedy Club Production (part of the Gazprom-Media holding) signed an agreement under which MTS will become a long-term promoter of Comedy Club, Comedy Woman, Sing Without Rules, Studio Union “,” Stand Up “,” Women’s stand-up “,” Once in Russia “and” Improvisation “, told Kommersant in the companies. According to the contract, MTS Entertainment will hold more than 250 events by the end of 2023. Financial terms were not disclosed.
90 percent of revenue
lost in 2020 the Russian concert industry, according to the Association of Concert, Theater and Ticket Organizers
“This is the largest deal in the concert industry in recent years, especially in the realities of the pandemic,” said Andrei Levin, Managing Director of Comedy Club Production. Performances are planned in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and other cities. “MTS Entertainment will act as their promoter and organize tours – this is the key direction of our business. Revenue will be generated by ticket sales, partner integrations, and on our own sites – a bar and other additional services, ”said Mikhail Minin, General Director of MTS Entertainment.
The MTS contract also makes it possible to load its own network of sites, added Mr. Minin. The company is negotiating the purchase or lease in the coming years of eight to ten halls for 2-4 thousand people in different Russian cities (see Kommersant of April 22). No purchase or lease agreements have been concluded yet, negotiations are underway, MTS said.
Comedy Club has previously toured Russia, attracting additional profit, recalls the commercial director of the Radario ticket platform Daria Bednaya. However, over the past year, cancellations and postponements of events have significantly hit such projects, so cooperation with a major partner is especially beneficial for Comedy Club, she said. The company, as the copyright holder of the content, can work with the planned schedule, the number of events, a significant amount of payments and a guarantee of payments from the customer, says concert promoter, producer of the “StandUp Festival” project Stepan Pestryakov.
For MTS, this partnership is, first of all, access to the loyal audience of Comedy Club, Daria Bednaya believes. Spectacular events in general are very attractive for brands aimed at mass audiences, and telecoms have sponsored such events from the first days, notes the editor-in-chief of the InterMedia agency Evgeny Safronov. For example, the largest club venue in Moscow was called Yotaspace (now Glavklub) for a long time. “The agreement between MTS Entertainment and Comedy Club is partly of a sponsorship nature,” the expert believes.
Under the contract, MTS can take on risks that are extremely high for the entertainment industries in a pandemic, notes Evgeny Safronov. Remaining restrictions on activities may slow down the payback period of the project, experts warn. In particular, in Moscow from June 22, a ban was introduced on holding events with the presence of more than 500 people. Also, a ban on entertainment events, according to Rospotrebnadzor, remains in 68 regions of the country. “Because of the new measures, ticket sales will drop dramatically in the coming year, and postponements and cancellations of events will further destroy the market,” fears Daria Bednaya. In her opinion, there is no need to talk about payback in the next few years, a “perspective at a distance of five years” is possible.