“Quite expected”: Russia deprived of two Olympics

Against the background of all the sanctions imposed on Russian and Belarusian sports in recent months, the decision of the International Olympic Committee does not seem unexpected. Russia, St. Petersburg, the Formula 1 stage in Sochi, the Ice Hockey World Championship and many other tournaments were already denied, and Russian representatives of almost all sports were banned from the world stage.

The influence of the IOC on the banning of Russian sports also played a role: on February 28, the organization issued a statement calling on international sports federations to prevent Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in any competitions. Now, Russia’s exclusion from the tender for the exhibition of the two Olympics, 2026 and 2028, follows.

State Duma deputy Irina Rodnina, a three-time Olympic champion in pair skating, noted in an interview with socialbites.ca that in modern realities such a decision does not surprise her.

“In light of today’s events, this is highly anticipated, but I hope this is not the final decision,” Rodnina said. Said.

Initially, many media outlets published materials with the headline that for this reason the Games in Milan and Los Angeles in Russia and Belarus will not be shown legally. However, this is not quite true. Television expert, author of telesport nonsense telegram channel Ilya Firsov, in an interview with Sport24, explained that this does not mean that Russia and Belarus will be completely deprived of broadcasting rights.

The fact that Russia and Belarus are excluded from the pan-European package tender does not mean that the rights in these countries will not be exercised separately. For example, when Discovery won the rights tender for Paris (2018-2024) from Pyeongchang, it did not include Russia in the package. A separate tender has been announced for Russia, which TeleSport won.”

Firsov expressed the opinion that when the situation in the world more or less stabilizes, a special tender for Russia will be opened. He stressed that the IOC is unlikely to deprive a large audience of Russia from the opportunity to watch the Olympic Games, especially since there were no UN sanctions against the country (as, for example, in South Africa or Yugoslavia in the early 90s). ).

It is important to distinguish between “right”, “outside” and “inside” initiative. In case of expulsion of Russian athletes, it is likely that our broadcasters will refuse to buy their rights “in solidarity”.

There are enough similar precedents in history (including refusal to broadcast the already purchased Olympics). Suffice it to recall the period of the 1980-1984 boycotts, when the USA and the USSR did not broadcast the missed Olympic Games, although NBC managed to buy the rights to the Olympic Games. then for big money, ”said Firsov.

At the same time, there are still four years before the first Olympics, the rights to show that Russia has not yet received – in 2026 the Winter Games will be held in Milan. During this time, the political situation may change, and Russian athletes may have the opportunity to perform on the world stage and, accordingly, go to the main start of the four-year period. Firsov emphasized that if the Russians are accepted to the competition, a tender will be opened with a very high probability for the country.

Publishers were not surprised by the IOC’s decision. Alexander Tashchin, the general producer of Match TV channel, said that they received the relevant documents from the international organization on March 2, and the tender began on the 10th of that month. At the same time, he emphasized that it is about holding a tender that can be done separately for certain regions, adding that the channel does not consider any other broadcasting option other than getting a tender.

“Other options” may mean piracy. If there is an official ban on showing the Olympics in Russia and Belarus, the possibility of the emergence of pirated sites and publications that will illegally broadcast the competitions should not be excluded.

At the same time, Taschin noted that Match TV would never do such things, as this could seriously damage the channel’s reputation.

“We still believe that piracy has negative consequences for the business reputation that we have built over many years with our partners, so we are not currently considering this option. I hope that we will find a legal opportunity to show the Russian audience the competitions at the Olympic Games, ”said the general producer of Match TV TASS.

Firsov, in turn, said that there is an option where broadcasts can be shown illegally in the country, but the main TV broadcasters will not have a direct relationship with them.

There is a variant with “hidden support” of piracy – the broadcasters themselves will not steal publications, but “by accident” a platform will appear and promoted at the expense of state media sources that are not officially associated with broadcasters, but provide broadcasting. Dealing with it is much more difficult because the fact that the platform has ties to publishers still needs to be proven,” he said.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) excluded Russia and Belarus from the tender for the purchase of screening rights to the 2026 and 2028 Olympic Games to be held in Milan and Los Angeles. However, this decision does not mean that the Games in Russia will not be shown definitively. Three-time Olympic champion, State Duma deputy Irina Rodnina, in an interview with socialbites.ca, expressed hope that this decision was “not final”, and TV expert Ilya Firsov told Sport24 that a separate tender, specifically for Russia, could still be announced. If our Athletes are allowed to participate in the Games.

Source: Gazeta


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