New HD sports channel for Russia

Russian broadcaster RTR has launched a new HD version of its sports channel, Sport1 HD, and has struck carriage deals with service providers Akado and VimpelCom.

The channel, for which RTR hopes to have an audience of 10 million people by the end of the year, will offer, amongst other things, English Premier League football for the next three seasons and coverage of the English FA Cup.

VimpelCom will carry the channel as part of its Beeline TV service in trial mode, available to all until the end of the month, while Akado is offering the standard-definition version of the channel free-to-air until the end of the year, after which it will be included in the Moscow operator’s sport package, and the HD version free to HD subscribers for the next two weeks, after which it will be offered à la carte.

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