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Player popularity boosts NBA rights in the Balkans

PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 05: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets drives to the basket on Zach Collins #33 of the Portland Trail Blazers during the second half of game four of the Western Conference Semifinals at Moda Center on May 05, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. The Nuggets won 116-112.

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Russian internet company Yandex will look to expand its sports-rights portfolio after acquiring exclusive rights to the National Hockey League in Russia amid fierce competition.

Italian public broadcaster Rai acquired the exclusive rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan at a two-thirds reduction in value from the previous edition after a long stand-off between the company’s internal departments.

Pay-television broadcaster Nova has taken advantage of a sharp reduction in sports rights funding at Greek public broadcaster ERT, following a snap election earlier this year, to acquire a pair of key properties and become Greek top-tier football’s main broadcast partner.  

The IMG agency has sealed a deal for rights to Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A and the US’ Major League Soccer in Sweden with media group Bonnier. The deal signals the end of its OTT experiment in the country as it had previously been broadcasting the properties on its Strive streaming platform.