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Gazprom-Media CEO expects World Cup TV rights issue to be solved soon

May 16, 2017, 23:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Earlier, a conglomerate of Russian TV channels refused to buy the broadcasting rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup at $120 million

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS, archive

MOSCOW, May 16. /TASS/. The CEO of Russia’s largest media holding Gazprom-Media expressed hope on Tuesday that Russian TV networks and FIFA would soon agree on the broadcasting rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Earlier, a conglomerate of state-owned Russia’s Channel One and VGTRK, and Match TV (owned by Gazprom-Media), refused to buy the broadcasting rights for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup at $120 million. The price is nearly four times higher than the $32 million that the Russian channels paid for the broadcasting rights of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

"As a group of three media holdings, we have put forward a unified proposal about the cost of the broadcasting rights, and agreed on how we apportion them among us. Differences remain between us and FIFA as we do not want to bear serious losses while buying those TV rights. Regretfully, the negotiations are taking too long," Gazprom-Media CEO Dmitry Chernyshenko said.

"I think that common sense will eventually prevail and we are able to solve the matter in shortest time possible. I heard that FIFA requested our colleagues to confirm the commercial terms that we had proposed, we will surely do so and hope for this issue to be resolved," he added.

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura told TASS in an exclusive interview in late April that she was sure of a compromise between Russian broadcasters and FIFA. "There will be a middle ground set between the media and the TV sponsored in FIFA," Samoura added.

The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup will take place from 17 June to 2 July. Group A will feature hosts Russia, as well as New Zealand, Portugal and Mexico. Group B will include Germany, Chile, Australia and Cameroon. Matches will be played in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan.

The FIFA World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15, 2018, in 11 Russian cities - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Yekaterinburg, Samara, Sochi and Rostov-on-Don.

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