Vladimir Osipov – about the rights to the Champions League

Vladimir Osipov - about the rights to the Champions League


The Champions League may leave Russian public television. This was stated by the general producer of Match TV, Alexander Tashchin. On Tuesday, the media reported the approximate contract amount that the new broadcaster, the Okko online cinema, will pay for showing the main club football tournament. We are talking about €20-25 million per year. At the same time, Match TV paid €10 million more. For now, all information is unofficial. Kommersant FM sports commentator Vladimir Osipov was looking into whether the Champions League will really leave the federal channel.

Neither Match TV nor Okko comment on the possible development of events for obvious reasons. So from the facts there is only the completion of the contract of the federal channel to show the Champions League in the summer of this year. In order to continue to delight us with great football, Match TV needs a new agreement, but UEFA does not want to conclude it with the current broadcaster. Previously, one of the main conditions was the ability of Russian fans to watch tournament matches for free. Now everything has changed, and the fact that the Champions League will disappear from free access is even a certain success for UEFA. At least that’s how it can be presented.

But, despite the position of the Union of European Football Associations, the issue of rights to the Champions League can still be resolved, Chairman of the Russian Association of Sports Commentators Alexey Efimov is sure: “We need a certain company in one of the CIS countries and rights to a number of CIS countries, for example, or the entire territory of the CIS, or some other territory, but including Russia and Belarus. Rights are sold in what is called a package. And then this company can sell so-called sublicenses to various other territories, including Russia.”

Another question is whether, in the current realities, the federal sports television channel will compete for broadcasts of the Champions League. Perhaps the statement by general producer Alexander Tashchin about the end of the contract and the difficulties with its renewal was a certain message to those who allocate money for this. In addition, conversations about a possible change of venue for the tournament will allow us to look at the reaction of the potential audience.

Still, the question about the advisability of showing the tournament probably arose among the channel’s managers, because after the disqualification of Russian clubs, the Champions League lost its popularity in our country. Football manager Yuri Belous has no doubt about this: “And so the interest in the Champions League is not so great, because Russian teams do not participate. The free channel is always the most acceptable for people, especially in the regions.

Of course, it will be a certain blow, but competition is competition.”

So, most likely, we will not see any kind of fight for the right to show the Champions League, as was the case with the Russian football championship. Moreover, in this situation, Match TV can be freed from serious expenses, and even through no fault of its own. Although image losses still cannot be avoided, Alexey Efimov notes: “We don’t see the paper, we don’t know what the price of the previous contract was. I guess it’s quite big. Was this money made up of advertising, sponsorship, bookmaker contracts? I highly doubt it. Therefore, here, perhaps, costs will be saved. But from an image point of view, if the main channel does not show the Champions League, of course, this is very unpleasant.”

And yet, it is too early to say that the Champions League will definitely leave the public television channel. Assumptions on this matter look, of course, very plausible, especially the information that the new broadcaster will recoup the costs of broadcasting thanks to a large contract with one of the major bookmaking companies. We are talking about an amount of more than 2 billion rubles. Let’s not forget that Match TV also has a similar contract, although the numbers in it are smaller. But no one forbids increasing the amount under a new agreement. So in the end, everything will depend on the desire of one or another resource to get a tournament and, of course, on the professionalism of those who will be involved in this.

Everything is clear with us – Telegram channel “Kommersant FM”.


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