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Three Russian broadcasters to show 2018 Olympics

Russian state-controlled broadcasters Channel One and VGTRK, as well as sports broadcaster Match TV, will show coverage of the 2018 winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, according to Pyotr Makarenko, president of the Telesport agency.

Telesport has rights in Russia to the Olympics from 2018 to 2024. Makarenko told the RG news website that the broadcasters would prioritise coverage of the Russian athletes who are competing at the Olympics under a neutral flag following the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban the Russian team from the Games.

VGTRK originally said it would not show coverage of the Olympics following the International Olympic Committee’s decision to ban Russia from competing at the Games due to a doping scandal.

Makarenko said that VGTRK and Match TV would show a significant amount of coverage, including competitions in which Russian athletes will not compete.

Makarenko said that negotiations are “at the final stage”, with the agreements expected to be finalised early in the New Year.

He added that the broadcasters themselves would decide on how to split the coverage, including the opening and closing ceremonies, at a later date. It had already been reported that Channel One would show coverage of the Games.

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.