Premier League to discuss ending Russian TV deal

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Clubs across the Premier League have shown support for Ukraine. Image Source: Getty Images

The Premier League will discuss whether it should end its £43m six-year deal with Russian broadcaster Match TV at this week’s annual general meeting.

The previous deal with Rambler was suspended in March following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

That contract expired at the end of the season, with one for the 2022-23 campaign set to begin in August.

Match TV is owned by Gazprom Media, which is backed by the Russian government.

With no easing of the conflict in Ukraine, Premier League clubs must decide how to proceed.

The length of the contract means it is more valuable than if it had just covered three years as is usually the case.

Under the circumstances, it is thought scrapping the deal altogether would be easier than suspending it, if the contractual position allows.

Meanwhile, BBC Sport understands the new Premier League fixtures – announced on 16 June – are likely to include a mid-week round of matches that clash with the 1 September transfer deadline.

The World Cup in Qatar creates a calendar issue and the Premier League had already said the season would pause after Round 16 which will be played over 12 and 13 November.

With the opening round of fixtures taking place on 6 August and an international break at the end of September, there are only 14 weekend slots before the tournament.

With all six European group-stage matches also taking place before the World Cup and the EFL Cup third round on 8 November, there is one mid-week slot available in October where a round of Premier League games will be played.

There are four mid-week slots in August, but the first three are being used for Uefa club competition qualifiers – West Ham are involved in the Europa Conference League play-offs on 18 and 25 August.

The Premier League has opted to use the final one, with matches potentially being scheduled across three days for the benefit of TV.

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