The Premier League is considering terminating its media rights deals with Russian broadcasters following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Premier League chief executive Richard Masters disclosed this while speaking at the Financial Times Business of Football Summit in London said the agreements are under review in many respects.
The Premier League is reaching the end of its three-season deal with Sberbank-owned web portal Rambler. Last year, it agreed on a six-season deal with Gazprom Media-owned broadcaster Match TV for exclusive media rights from the beginning of next season.
The ownership of both broadcasters is closely linked to the Russian state.
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“With regards to international broadcast contracts in Russia, clearly they’re under review in many respects. I’d like the Russian people to see the strength of feeling in the Premier League and English football this weekend, but obviously, we are looking at them very closely in terms of suspension or terminations given the current circumstances.
“That review is happening right now, ” Masters said.
When asked what it would take for the Premier League to re-engage with Russian broadcasters and sponsors, Masters said: “I’m not a politician, but I would have thought the one thing that can fix it is Vladimir Putin somehow gets taken out of his role and replaced with somebody else.
“That would get everybody into a different place but while the war is going on, it’s unsustainable and the sport and Russia can’t marry.”
Masters also spoke on the value of the Premier League’s international broadcast rights deals.
Last month, clubs at a Premier League shareholders meeting were told that international broadcast rights revenue will outstrip domestic broadcast rights revenue for the first time during the next three-season cycle.
International deals from 2022-23 to 2024-25 will be worth in the region of £5.3bn ($7.1bn/€6.4bn) across the whole cycle.
“We did the ground-breaking deal in Scandinavia, held value in the Middle East and did exceptionally well in the US. So, we’re up about 30 per cent in international markets.
“We will probably be at £10.5bn revenue within three years, if not better. And we’ve grown our market share. We look at our market share in terms of the other big leagues in Europe, and we think we’re about 45 per cent of it and growing. But that’s all because we’re delivering a product [people] want to watch,” Masters added