English Premier League officially suspends Russian broadcast deal

The English Premier League has confirmed that it will not honour its upcoming rights deal in Russia with Gazprom Media-owned Match TV.

The £43 million deal with Match TV – a channel personally opened by decree by Russian leader Vladmir Putin in 2019 – was set to start from the kick-off of the 2022-23 season in August.

At this week’s Premier League annual general meeting, the EPL told its member clubs that it would suspend this deal following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

There is currently no indication for how long the suspension will run, or whether this will lead to the deal being scrapped in its entirety.

In March, the EPL officially abandoned its €7 million per season deal with Rambler Media following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Rambler, which is operated by state-owned bank Sberbank, had a deal in place to broadcast the league via its OTT platform Okko Sport.

Also at the AGM, the EPL committed to tougher actions against pitch invaders and threatened fans with football-wide bans to ensure their prevention. The league also will write a cap on away ticket prices into its rulebook, while it will also push ahead with a new version of its owners and directors test in light of the controversial decision to allow Saudi Arabia to buy Newcastle FC.

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