Premier League and EFL suspend Russian TV deals

The decision was made during a shareholders' meeting on Tuesday

The Premier League and the English Football League Championship (EFL) suspended their agreements with Russian TV broadcasters on Tuesday, with the English Football Association believed to have followed suit with the rights to show the FA Cup.

The Premier League's decision was made at a shareholders' meeting and relates to a deal with Rambler Media and streaming channel Okko Sport reportedly worth $8.2 million per year.

In a statement, the Premier League said that it strongly condemned Russia's military operation in Ukraine.

"We call for peace and our thoughts are with all those impacted," the English top flight added, while pledging £1 million ($1.3 million) in humanitarian aid "directly to those in need".

The EFL confirmed that access to the iFollow service and other club-specific streaming services had also been withdrawn in Russia.

Over at the FA, PA Media reported that the organization had suspended FA Cup TV rights with quarter-final ties scheduled for March 19 and 20.

Reacting to the news, British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said the decision was "absolutely the right thing to do" and that the UK government "fully" supports the Premier League’s decision to stop broadcasting matches in Russia in response to its military operation in Ukraine. 

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The Premier League is set to end its Russian TV deal according to reports. © Marc Atkins / Offside / Offside via Getty Images
Premier League set to axe Russian TV deal – reports

The move was expected after Premier League chief executive Richard Masters stated at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit that Russian broadcast deals were "under review".

"Clearly broadcast contracts in Russia are under review," Masters said. "We're looking at suspension or termination. It's happening now. We're looking at a fast-moving situation."

A report on Monday from The Telegraph then alleged that the suspension was imminent in the next 24 hours, which has now proven accurate.

Okko Sport belongs to state-owned company Sberbank, which also runs Rambler Media and is on the UK's list of sanctioned Russian entities.

The agreement to show Premier League games ends three months ahead of schedule, but some top European championships such as La Liga still maintain their agreements with Russian TV broadcasters.

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