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VGTRK takes on NTV Plus in bidding for Russian Premier League

Russian state-owned broadcaster VGTRK is bidding for the rights for the Russian Premier League, the country’s top football league, against current rights-holder, the satellite pay-television operator NTV Plus.

VGTRK earlier this year had a joint offer with the Infront Sports & Media agency, worth $420 million (€336 million) over the six years from 2012-13 to 2017-18, rejected by the league. NTV Plus, which has held the rights since 2007, has made an offer of $100 million over three years, 2012-13 to 2014-15.

News agency RIA Novosti reports that VGTRK has now responded to the NTV Plus offer by making a new bid worth $110 million over the next three seasons. Under the offer, VGTRK would produce the match coverage.

VGTRK claims to reach 98 per cent of Russia’s 143 million population and has traditionally sublicensed the rights to the Premier League’s bigger games from NTV Plus, which claims more than two million viewers.