Russian State TV Bids To Bring Football To Terrestrial Sets
Russian state TV has made a $110M bid for the right to broadcast the Russian Premier League for the next three years and "take the football competition back to terrestrial sets," according to the RUSSIAN INTERNATIONAL NEWS AGENCY. Public broadcaster VGTRK had a $420M offer for six years rejected by the league, prompting satellite operator NTV Plus, which has held the rights since '07, to step in with a counteroffer of $100M for three years. VGTRK "then raised its bid" to $110M. The issue "has been controversial over the last few years as Russians accustomed to getting their football for free were suddenly deprived" (RIA, 6/5). INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL's David Gold wrote, "if successful, VGTRK would give Russian viewers the chance to watch live football on terrestrial television" for the first time since '07." Whichever broadcaster wins the auction, "it will mark a significant increase in the annual income from television revenues," which just over a year ago stood at closer to $53M (INSIDEWORLDFOOTBALL.biz, 6/6).