VGTRK (Russia)

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Russian broadcasters VGTRK, Channel One and Match TV have agreed a deal with Fifa for rights to this year’s Confederations Cup, but wrangling over rights to the 2018 World Cup continues.

TV Sports Markets understands the Telesport agency has acquired rights in Russia to four Olympic Games, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and is currently in negotiations with Fifa for rights to the 2018 World Cup.

The International Champions Cup increased rights fees for its 2016 edition in new deals in the UK and Russia last week.

Uefa is understood to be close to a breakthrough in Russia for the rights to its European Qualifiers but still faces big challenges in Germany, where third-party rights remain unsold, and Singapore, where it has not sold any rights.

Media rights income for Euroleague basketball is likely to be about the same in the 2014-15 season as it was last season, partly due to difficulties in Russia, one of the sport’s key markets.

Gazprom Media chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko has said the division of state-owned energy company Gazprom intends to streamline operations of the new Sport 360 project following the deal struck with state-owned broadcaster VGTRK last month.

Russian state broadcaster VGTRK has acquired rights to the 2015 International Champions Cup pre-season club football friendly tournament for its pay-television sports channel Sport 1.

The agreement between Russian state-owned broadcaster VGTRK and Gazprom Media Holding which will lead to the formation of a new state-backed sports broadcaster also includes the country’s most popular sports website, Sportbox.ru, according to Kommersant.

Russian state-owned broadcaster VGTRK has been instructed by President Vladimir Putin to hand over the frequency utilised by its Russia 2 channel to Gazprom Media Holding by August 1, ahead of the launch a new state-backed sports broadcaster one month later.