Match TV creates new channel for Russian Premier Liga

Sports broadcaster Match TV has said it will launch a new pay-television channel to support its coverage of the top tier of domestic football, which has now rebranded to the Russian Premier Liga.

Match TV last week secured a four-season extension to its domestic rights deal for the competition formerly known as the Russian Premier League. The new contract will run from 2018-19 to 2021-22 and plans for the new season were detailed by Match TV and the league at an event held in Moscow yesterday (Tuesday).

The new television channel, entitled Match! Premier, will broadcast all matches from the 2018-19 season live, with 60 games also shown on the main Match TV channel.

The new channel will be priced at 219 rubles (€3/$3.5) per month and will be free from traditional advertising. It will also offer all matches from the Russian Cup knockout competition, as well as all friendly games played by Premier Liga clubs.

Match TV said the channel, which is set to launch on Saturday, will broadcast on a year-round basis, and will also offer highlights from the English Premier League, Spanish LaLiga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1.

Match TV added that its coverage will benefit from the legacy of Russia’s staging of the Fifa World Cup, with the enhanced telecommunications infrastructure put in place for the tournament allowing it to shoot and broadcast the Liga at a level never seen before.

Dmitry Chernyshenko, chief executive of Match TV’s parent company Gazprom Media Holding, told state news agency Tass: “The Premier TV channel will be available in online and TV formats, and we expect to achieve a quick payback in the near future.

“We did a huge amount of work to improve the quality of broadcasting, content and so on. If by the end of the year everything goes well, then, as planned three years ago, the channel will come out on payback.”

The 2018-19 season of the top tier will see it launch with a new name and a new identity, specially created by Art. Lebedev Studio.

The new emblem of the Russian Premier Liga is a bear in the colours of the national flag. The studio has also developed an official league font to be used on the back of the players shirts and as graphics during television broadcasts.