MTS has opened up its TV service to third-party app designers as it seeks to expand choice and flexibility on the platform.

The move means developers can now add services to the MTS TV app store, and the Russian operator said several partners, including online encyclopaedia Wikipedia and internet giant Yandex, had already signed up.

MTS TV brings together a range of linear and non-linear TV services, including video on-demand.

Natalia Bratchikova, Head of Marketing for MTS fixed business and TV, said the new products created by partners would add to this offering.

“We purposefully set out to create…an environment for partners to foster more choice and flexibility in line with our digital strategy,” she explained.

“Non-linear TV, applications and entertainment on the big screen are all emerging as part of new interactive TV trends, positioned alongside the more traditional classic TV broadcasting.”

Subscriber numbers for MTS’s TV platform rose 0.9 percent year-on-year to 2.8 million in the second quarter, helping group revenues to rise 0.7 percent to RUB106.8 billion and operating profit to jump 16.4 percent to RUB23.9 billion.

CEO Andrei Dubovskov said: “Following an encouraging start to the year, MTS continued to create momentum during the second quarter and delivered solid financial results.”

However, MTS was forced to try and allay concerns over a technical default by finance group Sistema, which holds a 50.03 percent stake in MTS.

In a statement, MTS said Sistema’s default on credit obligations worth RUB8.9 billion, or around €129 million, was “purely formal”.

It was unable to pay debt obligations after assets, including some of its shareholdings in MTS, were frozen as part of legal proceedings against it by

Rosneft, Bashneft and the Republic of Bashkortostan over alleged asset stripping, which Sistema denies.

MTS said Sistema was servicing its credit and financial obligations in a “timely manner and in full” and plans to continue to do so in the future.

It emphasised that the default and the freeze of MTS shares would not impede its operational activities or impact its debt.

Read more: MTS leans on Nokia to help improve internal systems, launch digital services

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