Russian pay TV provider NTV+ has closed the acquisition of internet portal Sportbox.ru from state broadcast organisation RTR.
The company said the move is in line with an order from President Vladimir Putin to establish a unified Federal sports TV channel. NTV+ and owner Gazprom Media previously acquired NST, owner of channel Match TV as well as RTR’s cable and satellite sports channels Sport, Sport 1, Sport 1 HD and Fight Club.
NTV+ CEO Aleksander Vronsky said the consolidation of key assets such as Sportbox.ru into Match TV was a key step in the creation of a new national sport service. He said that the internet was the most important medium for sports content and that the group would pay “serious attention to the development of Sportbox.ru”.
Match TV went on air as a free-to-air channel at the beginning of November.