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Russian TV station calls for penalties against FC Porto over disrupted live broadcast

The Portuguese club broadcast the match in its own mobile app

MOSCOW, August 14. /TASS/. Portugal’s FC Porto should be punished for not allowing a live broadcast of the UEFA Champions League’s qualifier between the Portuguese club and Russia’s Krasnodar FC to Russia on Tuesday, an executive with the Russian sports television channel Match TV told TASS on Wednesday.

In an away game on Tuesday, Krasnodar FC defeated Porto 3-2 in the second-leg match of the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. The Russian club lost at home last week 0-1 and the aggregate's result after both games was 3-3. However, Krasnodar proceeded further to the Champions League qualifying playoff round as it scored more goals away, while FC Porto was relegated to the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.

Match TV, a Russian sports channel, was set to broadcast the match live, which kicked off on Tuesday at 22:00 Moscow time, but several minutes shy of the game’s start the channel announced that the game’s broadcast had been obstructed due to circumstances beyond their control.

"With an hour and a half remaining before the match, the Portuguese started refusing, but we did not announce it, because the lawyers, which were dealing with the agreement and broadcasting rights, kept telling us that the talks were underway until the very last minute and the broadcast would begin as scheduled," Match TV Creative Producer Gavriil Gordeyev said in an interview with TASS.

"Some ten minutes before the start of the match, I inquired again and they told me that ‘we have almost reached an agreement’," Gordeyev continued. "With an hour and a half to go we asked our colleagues from Krasnodar FC to take part in the negotiations to secure guarantees. It was agreed initially that the money for the match broadcast would be transferred by the end of the week, but at the very last moment they started insisting on immediate payment."

Gordeyev noted that prior to the playoff rounds of the European tournaments, the hosting clubs are in charge of the broadcasting rights, not the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

"As far as I know, they asked local television channels to pay 200,000 euros for the broadcast and a sum lower than this figure from Russia," he said. "They charged this amount from local television channels and unsurprisingly no one agreed to it."

"They announced on Monday that the broadcasting of the match will be via their own mobile application and we agreed then that Porto would block its club TV on the territory of Russia because we were going to go on air and have our own digital broadcasting. We also agreed on the financial terms and the sum was not as large as it was for the Portuguese television channels."

"They eventually refused this money and as far as I know they failed to sell space for the advertising on the pitch barriers," Gordeyev said. "They were supposed to receive 15.25 million euros [from UEFA] for proceeding further to the Champions League group stage and now they will get only 2.92 million for going to the Europa League. Something went wrong with Porto."

"We were embittered that we did not get the live broadcast although an agreement had been reached. This issue is beyond my authority and we are trying to understand if some sort of a court case could be opened. One way or another, penalties must definitely follow."