Liga-TV, formed by the Russian Football Premier League to run Nash Futbol, a station broadcasting all RFPL matches, won its lawsuit against LiveTV.ru 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 LiveTV.ru 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 LiveTV.ru 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, LiveTV.ru 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.
Starting Feb. 7, video streaming service Clarovideo will "offer its subscribers in Latin America direct access to the Sochi Winter Olympics with live broadcasts and select events available on demand," according to SEÑAL INTERNACIONAL. Clarovideo will offer a section dedicated to the Olympics from Feb. 7-23 for "subscribers in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and the Dominican Republic." Clarovideo will carry the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and events from each of the 15 Olympic disciplines. Subscribers "will also be able to watch the Games' most important moments on Video on Demand" (SEÑAL INTERNACIONAL, 1/20).
German public broadcaster ARD "recorded Saturday's top ratings for its winter sports broadcasts," according to David Grzeschik of QUOTENMETER. ARD's broadcast of the men's biathlon World Cup, which started at 2:30pm, attracted 4.05 million viewers. The number translated into a market share of 30%. In the target demographic 14-49, the biathlon event obtained a 16.1% share. In addition, ARD's broadcast of the luge World Cup was watched by 2.7 million viewers and had a 22.1% market share. The channel's Nordic combined coverage, which started around 3:15pm, attracted 3.09 million viewers and had a 22.4% market share. In the target demographic, the two events each obtained a market share of about 11%. Short track speed skating and cross-country skiing recorded shares of 14.4% and 14.6%, respectively (QUOTENMETER, 1/19).