Match TV and Gazprom Media’s inability to pay an increase for Russian Football Premier League rights has opened the door for new players, one of which has offered RUB 11bn (€145m/$175m) over five seasons
Fifa’s decision not to push World Cup media-rights negotiations in Russia to the wire has produced a fee well below the governing body’s initial expectations – but has preserved its relationship with the country’s political leadership.
Uefa has earned a significant increase in the value of its national team rights across Eastern Europe, justifying its decision to sell market-by-market in the region.
Any new deal for domestic Russian Football Premier League rights will likely be completed next March at the earliest, far later than the November estimate of league president Sergey Pryadkin, TV Sports Markets understands.
The Telesport agency is aiming to take advantage of Match TV’s weakened financial position and become the main buyer of sports rights in Russia, wresting control of the market from the Gazprom Media-owned broadcaster.
Euroleague Basketball has increased its media-rights income in the 2016-17 season by 36 per cent compared to 2015-16, and this will rise further in 2017-18 thanks mainly to a blockbuster deal in Greece.
Independent pay-television broadcaster Football TV has ridden out the country’s tough media market since the rouble crashed in late 2014, and believes it could be in a position to thrive over the next three years.
The second-tier of English football will be shown in Russia once more after the Pitch International agency struck a one-season deal covering 2016-17 with pay-television broadcaster Eurosport worth about $100,000 (€91,000).
The English Premier League this week finalised a deal with Russian broadcaster Match TV which will see its value in the country fall by about 57 per cent.
The International Champions Cup increased rights fees for its 2016 edition in new deals in the UK and Russia last week.
Eurosport continued its gradual rise from a basic-tier to a premium pay-television broadcaster this month in Russia, following deals for National Hockey League and Wimbledon tennis rights.
The price of Formula One media rights has fallen and stayed flat in recent deals for Austria and Russia respectively, reflecting the lack of competition for the property in both markets.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship bolstered its UFC Fight Pass OTT subscription service last month, maintaining its position as the world’s most content-rich combat channel.
Uefa has agreed a deal in principle with the Telesport agency for Euro 2016 rights in Russia, a deal which appears to have been worth the wait for European football’s governing body.
Uefa is the latest rights-holder to feel the pinch from the new-look Russian sports rights market, as the income from its club competitions in the territory has plummeted well below previous cycles.