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Match TV claims deal close for Pyeongchang 2018 rights

Russian state-owned sports broadcaster Match TV has rejected reports that it will not broadcast the 2018 winter Olympic Games, stating that it expects to complete a rights deal in the autumn.

The Telesport agency holds rights in Russia to next year’s Games in Pyeongchang, along with the 2020, 2022 and 2024 events, in a deal struck with the International Olympic Committee.

A sublicensing agreement for Pyeongchang 2018 has yet to be agreed and reports have suggested that Match TV was set to cover the Games in a reduced form.

However, the broadcaster’s press service told state news agency Tass: “Match TV is negotiating the acquisition of rights (to broadcast) the Olympics in Pyeongchang. All is in working order. 

“The information that we refused to broadcast the Olympics is not true. Negotiations are planned to be completed in the autumn.”

Russia was the only European territory excluded from media group Discovery Communication’s 50-territory deal for Olympic Games rights across Europe from 2018 to 2024.