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 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.