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Premier League reviewing Russian TV rights deal, says CEO 

Rambler reportedly paying English soccer's top flight US$8.2m a year, with Match TV's new deal worth US$55m.

4 March 2022 PA

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  • Rights are currently held by Rambler for 2021/22 season, with matches broadcast on Okko
  • Gazprom-owned Match TV’s six year deal to start from 2022/23 season

The Premier League is looking at the suspension or termination of its Russian broadcast partnership following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Richard Masters, chief executive of English soccer’s top-flight, told the Financial Times Business of Football Summit that its agreements were “under review”.

The Russian rights for the current season are owned by media company Rambler, and broadcast on streaming platform Okko. Reports in Russia suggest the deal is worth around $8.2 million per year.

Match TV – owned by US Treasury sanctioned Gazprombank – is then set to take over the broadcast partnership in a six-year deal from the start of the 2022/23 season. That deal is reported to be worth reported in the region of US$55 million.

This has led to doubts over payments for television rights can be made in the near future.

The Premier League has not yet contacted its clubs in relation to any change of its broadcast partnerships in Russia.

Commercial deals with Russia in all sectors are under scrutiny at the moment, and Masters said: “With regards to our broadcast contracts in Russia, clearly they’re under review.”

Premier League clubs are set to show their support for the people of Ukraine at this weekend’s matches.

“I’d like the Russian people to see the strength of feeling in the Premier League and in English football this weekend,” he added.

“We’re looking at (the contracts) very closely in terms of suspension, termination. It’s happening right now. It’s a fast-moving situation.”

Elsewhere in England, the governing Football Association (FA) has a contract with Match TV to show the FA Cup, while the state-backed network also holds the Champions League rights in the region.

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