Russian Federation blocks Premier League broadcasts by Amazon’s Twitch over lawsuit

Thursday, 19 Dec, 2019

The original lawsuit was filed on Monday in a Moscow court by Rambler, one of Russia's biggest internet portals, known for its involvement in the online TV streaming market.

The firm has alleged that Twitch, which was purchased Amazon in 2014, breached its exclusive broadcasting rights for the EPL over 36,000 times between the months of August and November.

Twitch's legal representation has called the case "unfounded", but it will still lead to quite the legal battle, and can have massive impacts on the Twitch audience as Russian Federation is the third-largest user of the streaming platform. Currently, Russia is the third-largest audience on Twitch, with more than 15 million users per day. According to a report from Kommersant (via VGC), Russian corporation Rambler is attempting to sue Twitch for 180 billion rubles (nearly $3 billion) and have the streaming platform blocked in Russia.

Tabastaeva also told Kommersant that Twitch did everything possible to eliminate the violations, even though he never received an official notification from the Rambler Group.

The spokesperson added that the suspension covers the 2019-20 to 2021-22 Premier League seasons.

Mikhail Gershkovich, head of Ramblet Group's sporting ventures, saying settlement talks have already begun. Amazon itself also has exclusive rights to stream a number of Premier League matches here in the United Kingdom over the next few years.

"We are now holding talks with Twitch to sign the settlement agreement".

Twitch argues that its terms and conditions are clear in prohibiting the rebroadcast of copyrighted materials, but denies the case has any merit, pointing out that it is simply the messenger - it doesn't control the content as broadcast.

Rambler told the Reuters news agency that it is holding talks with Twitch over a possible settlement deal to end the dispute.