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Twitch Escapes Ban In Russia Over Premier League Games

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Roskomnadzor had dropped its ban threat after Twitch removed the offending content, Russian news agency, Tass reports. Roskomnadzor is the Russian federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.


The proposed ban was because of a complaint from Rambler Group, a firm that owns the local online rights to the matches.


Twitch’s Desktop Layout


Rambler Group is Russia’s third-largest internet company and had claimed 36,000 cases of copyright infringement against Twitch.


A lawyer acting on behalf of Rambler had said on Monday that it was suing Twitch £2.1bn in damages. However, another spokesman for the company said that sum needed to be “clarified”.


The Group had earlier sought to ban the platform owned by Amazon in Russia.


Russia is the third-largest user of Twitch in the world. The platform’s primary focus is video games live-streaming, however, it also offers other live streams services and pre-recorded content.


Rambler had bought the exclusive digital distribution rights for three seasons of the English Premier League. This, they bought earlier this year from the Russian sports broadcaster Match-TV.


Amazon also has its own interests in restricting access to Premier League Games since it bought exclusive rights to some matches for its own Prime Video service in the UK.

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A Twitch spokesperson told Forbes that the service takes quick action in removing “unlicensed copyrighted material” from its platform, and will work with Rambler to ensure that happens.


A Rambler spokesperson told Forbes via an emailed statement:


“We are happy to have come to an agreement with Twitch and thank Twitch for being constructive throughout the communication.”


The Premier League has one of the largest viewerships in league sports. 3.2 billion people had the games broadcasted to them as of July 2019, while stadiums are often at or near-maximum capacity during matches.


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