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SBD Global/January 20, 2014/Media

Russian Premier League TV Awarded $2.8M In Damages Over 'Illegal' Broadcasts

Liga-TV, formed by the Russian Football Premier League to run Nash Futbol, a station broadcasting all RFPL matches, won its lawsuit against for illegal re-broadcasts. A Moscow court took the plaintiff's side, only slightly lowering the original damages figure from 93M rubles ($2.8M). The court also warned about further illegal broadcasts. Liga-TV Legal Service Head Igor Savochkin said, "We consider the verdict to be fair and a precedent for the entire industry."

GROUNDBREAKING CASE: Previously, charges for illegal broadcasts of sports events were never pressed in Russia. Savochkin added, "The real size of Liga TV's damages from illegal activities of is over 70 million rubles ($2.1M), so the announced size of compensation is more than justified. We hope that the verdict will make pirates think about switching to legitimate activities." However, has reportedly switched to a new domain name, registered in neighboring Kazakhstan, which puts it out of Russian court's jurisdiction for the future. Nash Futbol is available via satellite and cable at 149 rubles ($4.50) a month, and as of late last year, the company had 266,000 subscribers.
Vladimir Kozlov is a writer in Moscow.
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