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Gazprom Media targeting NHL rights for Match TV

Gazprom Media chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko has said talks are being held to acquire rights to North American ice hockey league the NHL for Russia’s new sports television channel Match TV.

The new channel is set to commence broadcasting on a free-to-air basis on November 1, with sports content currently being put together for its launch. “Yes, we are negotiating to show matches of the NHL,” Chernyshenko said, according to Russian news agency R-Sport.

In June, state-owned broadcaster VGTRK was instructed by President Vladimir Putin to hand over the frequency utilised by its Russia 2 channel to Gazprom Media by August 1, ahead of the planned launch of the new state-backed sports broadcaster.

The deal transferring the Russia 2 frequency to Gazprom Media was understood to be worth R9.3bn (€150m/$168m).