Match TV 'closing in' on rights to Euro 2020 and Tokyo Olympics
Match TV, the free-to-air Russian sports broadcaster, is closing in on the acquisition of rights to the Uefa European Championships and the Olympic Games in 2020, according to Dmitry Chernyshenko, chief executive of parent company Gazprom Media.
Rights to both competitions are held in Russia by the Telesport agency.
Chernyshenko said today: “We are negotiating the purchase of Euro 2020 broadcasts, the same goes for the Olympic Games. We are achieving acceptable financial conditions.”
His comments come a day after the tender closed in Russia for rights to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar and this year's Women's World Cup in France.
Match TV presently shares rights to the qualification games for Euro 2020 with Channel One in deals struck with Telesport.
Rights to the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia were held by the 2SPORT2 consortium, comprising Match TV, Channel One and VGTRK, ensuring extensive coverage of the competition in Russia.
Channel One and VGTRK also held rights to Euro 2016 in France and Euro 2012 in Poland/Ukraine.Euro 2020 will be held in 12 cities across Europe, with St Petersburg to stage three group games and a quarter-final.
Russia lost their first Euro 2020 qualification match in a 3-1 defeat in Belgium last Thursday, but beat Kazakhstan 4-0 away on Sunday.
Olympic Games Telesport holds Olympic Games rights in Russia for the period 2018 to 2024, with the country having been excluded from the €1.3-billion ($1.46-billion) European rights deal between the International Olympic Committee and Discovery Communications, the USA-based media giant that owns Eurosport,Match TV, VGTRK and Channel One did eventually all show the PyeongChang 2018 winter Olympics, having threatened not to do so because of the absence of the Russia team as a result of the state-sponsored doping scandal in the country. In the event, some ‘clean’ Russian athletes competed, albeit not in the name of Russia.
Russia will compete under its own flag at Tokyo 2020, after the IOC lifted its suspension on the Russian Olympic Committee.
Rights to broadcast the Rio 2016 Olympics in Russia were acquired by a consortium comprising Channel One, NTV Plus, Russia 2 and VGTRK, in a deal signed with the Sportfive agency.
Earlier this month, Gazprom Media launched Match! Strana, a new dedicated sports TV channel for Russia, which went live with the broadcasting of the 2019 Winter Universiade from Krasnoyarsk.