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Twitch takes down Premier League content, Rambler ‘drops’ claim

Amazon-owned video platform Twitch has taken down illegal sports content following a challenge from Russia’s Rambler Media Group, according to state news agency Tass.

On Monday it emerged that Rambler had secured a court ruling suspending the streaming of English Premier League football games by Twitch, with Rambler claiming that Twitch had been infringing upon its exclusive content.

Tass reported at the time that the Moscow City Court suspended Twitch’s live streaming of matches as an interim measure of protection in a lawsuit filed by Rambler Internet Holding, part of the Rambler Group.

A court spokesperson had said that the suspension would cover the 2019-20 to 2021-22 Premier League seasons. Rambler acquired exclusive rights across those three seasons under a deal struck in April with matches broadcast via OTT platform Okko Sport.

Tass has now reported that telecomms regulator Roskomnadzor has dropped the threat after the content was removed by Twitch.

Twitch said in a statement today (Wednesday) that Rambler had withdrawn its claim. It also said no financial compensation had been sought or paid.

According to reports in Russia, Rambler was seeking 180bn rubles (€2.58bn/$2.88bn) in damages from Twitch, with the figure having been calculated by multiplying the alleged number of cases in which Twitch has pirated Rambler’s content (36,000) by the maximum compensation amount per case (5m rubles).

The BBC, citing a source close to the matter, has also reported that the case would not go any further and Twitch does not believe it will have to pay any compensation.

In October, Rambler agreed a partnership with international sports broadcaster Setanta Sports to combat online piracy in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS countries, with the agreement having a particular focus on the Premier League.

Setanta holds rights to the Premier League in Ukraine, Moldova and Kazakhstan, launching in the former nation in August.