Premier League ends this season’s Russian TV deal


Premier League games will not be shown on Russian TV after the English top flight suspended their deal with broadcast partner Rambler.

However, the clubs are yet to make a decision on what will happen to a deal with a Gazprom Media-owned organization due to start next season.

The decision was taken at a shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday as football continues to react to the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The Premier League has announced it will also donate £1million to support those affected by war.

The Football Association has also suspended its deal with Russia, while the English Football League has terminated its Russian broadcast services.

The Premier League said in a statement on Tuesday: “The Premier League and its clubs have today unanimously agreed to suspend our agreement with Russian broadcast partner Rambler (Okko Sport) with immediate effect and to donate £1million to support the people of Ukraine.

“The league strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We call for peace and our hearts go out to all those affected.

“The £1million donation will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to deliver humanitarian aid directly to those in need.

“This action follows a weekend of matches showing League-wide support for Ukraine. All club captains wore special armbands and supporters joined players, managers, officials from match and club staff in a moment of reflection and solidarity before each match kicks off. Large screens displayed ‘Football Stands Together’ against a backdrop of the blue and yellow colors of the Ukrainian flag. These words also were displayed on LED perimeter panels during matches.

“This message of solidarity was visible to fans around the world on Premier League digital channels and via match broadcasts.

“It adds to the many ways clubs continue to show their support.”

The Premier League statement, however, makes no reference to Russian sports channel Match TV.

Match TV has agreed a “long-term” deal with the Premier League in 2021 to show top-flight English matches after the deal with Rambler Media expires.

Match TV is owned by Gazprom Media, a subsidiary of Russian-majority multinational energy company Gazprom.

The Premier League’s decision was welcomed by UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston, who said: “It is absolutely the right thing to do and we fully support the Premier League’s decision to stop broadcasting matches. in Russia in response to Putin’s barbaric and senseless invasion of Ukraine.

“Russia cannot be allowed to legitimize its illegal war through sport and culture, and we must work together to ensure Putin remains a pariah on the international stage.”

In a separate move, the FA has also suspended its deal with Russia, meaning none of this month’s FA Cup quarter-finals will be broadcast in the country.

The EFL has also decided to withdraw broadcast access in Russia, saying in a statement: “Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing humanitarian crisis in the region, the EFL has suspended the broadcasting of its matches in the Russian Federation.

“Access to the EFL’s iFollow service and other Club streaming services has also been removed in the territory.

“Echoing the views of the Premier League and other organizations around the world, the EFL remains deeply concerned about the ongoing dispute. As demonstrated on EFL grounds across the country, “football stands in solidarity” with the people of Ukraine and all those affected.

(Photo: Getty Images)

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