Sports broadcasting has been further limited in Russia, in a move described as a ‘politicised act’ by one company executive.
Towards the end of last week, Discovery’s Eurosport suspended its operations in Russia as a result of the invasion of Ukraine three weeks ago, which has been widely condemned across the international community.
The Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport 4K channels have been suspended, in addition to Eurosport Gold, which was previously a broadcaster of the National Hockey League (NHL) in Russia.
In protest against Russian military action, the NHL had previously terminated its business relationships in the country, including its media rights deal with Yandex, its betting partnership with Liga Stavok and all communications with the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
Meanwhile, Russia’s Match TV network has now lost its media rights deal for the Formula One, following on from the suspension of the Russian Grand Prix by the motor racing series.
F1 has been featured on free-to-air Russian television since 1991, and Match TV’s coverage of the tournament was due to continue until 2023 under the terms of the latest renewal between the two organisations.
“The Match TV channel was informed of the termination of our agreement to broadcast F1,” said Match TV Executive Producer Aleksandr Taschin.
“Unfortunately, the 2022 season will not be shown on our channel, despite the long-standing fulfilment of all the financial and marketing obligations from our side.
“We regret what is yet another politicised act from Western colleagues, and we hope that the many fans of auto racing in Russia will yet get to view F1 on the big screen, commentated by our voice of Formula One Alexey Popov.”
Lastly, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) has also confirmed a ‘media blackout’ of its events in Russia, also suspending its agreement with Match TV, the primary broadcaster of Scottish fixtures in the country.
The SFA statement read: “The Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League can confirm they have instructed their respective broadcast partners to suspend feeds of all domestic league and cup competitions in Russia for the foreseeable future, in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
“As a result, there will be a blackout of Scottish Cup fixtures from this weekend’s quarter- finals and from all SPFL competitions including cinch Premiership, cinch Championship, Premier Sports Cup and SPFL Trust Trophy.”
Both the English Premier League and English Football League (EFL) had previously closed their broadcasting deals in Russia, whilst St Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena will no longer host this year’s UEFA Champions League final, which has been relocated to Paris’ Stade de France.