Russia’s 2Sport2 consortium ties up 2022 World Cup broadcast rights

The 2022 Fifa World Cup will receive widespread free-to-air and pay-TV coverage in Russia after the 2Sport2 consortium picked up the rights.

The consortium comprises the state-backed Channel One and VGTRK, along with the Gazprom Media-owned Match TV, and also held rights to last year’s World Cup in Russia.

2Sport2 has secured the rights to the showpiece tournament, which will take place in Qatar, in addition to men’s and women’s age-grade, beach soccer and futsal events from 2019 to 2022.

The deal comprises exclusive television, IPTV, internet and mobile rights and non-exclusive radio rights. The channels that make up the 2Sport2 consortium will broadcast the 2022 World Cup across their free-to-air and pay-TV outlets.

The agreement was brokered by the Telesport agency on behalf of 2Sport2.

Ilya Rustamov, Telesport’s executive producer, told the TASS news agency that Channel One, VGTRK and Match TV have also agreed a deal with Telesport for the acquisition of the 2020 Uefa European Championships broadcast rights in Russia.

An agreement with 2Sport2 for the 2018 World Cup rights in the host country was announced less than six months before the tournament kicked off. This followed lengthy negotiations over the rights and the Russian authorities’ criticisms of Fifa’s asking price. In the middle of 2017, deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko had claimed that Fifa was asking for as much as $110m (€99m), but that Russian authorities were holding out for a fee of around $32m.

In February, Fifa issued an invitation to tender for the rights in Russia for national team events between 2019 and 2022.