Two weeks ago, Formula 1 joined the large amount of leagues and governing bodies moving events out of Russia following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, cancelling September’s planned Russian Grand Prix in Sochi. Last week, they terminated their contract with that race’s promoter, meaning there are now no future F1 events set for Russia (the race had been set to move to Saint Petersburg next year). Now, F1 has ended their deal with broadcaster Match TV (which ran through 2023), meaning F1 races elsewhere will now not be broadcast in Russia. They’ve also shut down their F1TV streaming service in Russia. Here’s more on that from Luke Smith at MotorSport.com:
It has now emerged that F1 has taken similar action, terminating its broadcast contract with Match TV with immediate effect. Match TV signed its latest deal in 2020, which ran to the end of the 2023 season.
F1 TV will also no longer be available in Russia, preventing fans from subscribing to F1’s in-house streaming and removing all legal means for them to watch grands prix this season.
This comes after the Premier League suspended its relationship with Russian broadcaster Okko Sport, and after WWE terminated its own partnership with Match TV and shut down WWE Network in Russia. Match TV, which began broadcasting in 2015, is owned by Gazprom Media, part of Russian state-owned oil giant Gazprom.
The sports effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to be seen on many fronts, from the Paralympics booting Russian athletes to FIFA and the IIHF suspending Russian national teams to EA’s video games following suit to the NHL severing its relationship with the KHL to pressure on owners like Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich to sell their teams. These repercussions are also being felt in the broadcasting world. And it will be interesting to see what this means for Match TV in the long run, as most of their listed rights are now gone.