Channel One chief laments lack of progress in World Cup rights talks

Alexander Fayfman, general producer of state-controlled commercial broadcaster Channel One, has said no progress has been made on securing a rights deal for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in host nation Russia, adding that the negotiating parties are still seeking a compromise.

A rights deal for June’s Confederations Cup, a dress rehearsal for the national team football showpiece, was only agreed with world football’s governing body six days before the start of the tournament.

The agreement was struck with the 2SPORT2 consortium, which includes Channel One, along with fellow state-backed broadcasters VGTRK and Match TV.

With a World Cup deal yet to be agreed, Fayfman told state news agency Tass: “Unfortunately, the negotiations are at the same stage, they have not progressed. What is the problem? It’s the same as it was, in the conditions. We are in search of a compromise.”

In July, Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said Fifa wants Russia to pay more than double what the country is willing to spend on broadcast rights for the World Cup in the country.

Mutko said that Fifa has asked for $110m (€92.3m) for the rights to the tournament, while Russian-backed media can only afford to pay between $38m and $40m. Mutko added that television advertising income in Russia is lower than in other countries.