OTT & Digital

Rambler confirms Russian Premier League rights deal and OTT plans

Streaming platform Okko to house Russian web giant’s English soccer coverage.

by Steven Impey

Rambler confirms Russian Premier League rights deal and OTT plans

Russian web portal Rambler will stream live Premier League matches via its new over-the-top (OTT) service Okko after securing exclusive regional rights to English soccer’s top flight for the next three seasons.

In February, reports emerged that Rambler Media Group had outbid the incumbent Russian rights distributor, Match TV, to broadcast the Premier League for the 2019/20 to 2021/22 cycle.

Rambler has now confirmed that rights agreement, revealing plans to position its subscription-based OTT platform Okko as Russia’s home for all live Premier League coverage, available via smart TVs, iOS and Android devices, as well as the Okko.sport website.

Mikhail Gershkovich, head of Rambler’s sports projects, said: “The Premier League is one of the most popular foreign championships in Russia and one of the best football products in the world.

“It is spectacular and highly competitive and has very high picture quality and broadcasting standards. We are going to add to it the capabilities of Okko.sport and other media to offer a new football watching experience to all the Russian fans of English football.”

As well as live matches, coverage will also include shoulder content produced by Okko’s sports video team, such as analysis and magazine programming.

Ivan Gorodetskiy, Okko’s chief executive, said: “Okko’s growth strategy is based on consistent extension of the most interesting content. Content diversity and quality are the main advantages of our service, also distinguished by high technological standards.

“Exclusive broadcasting rights for Premier League matches will be the start of a new large-scale direction for Okko.sport, which I am sure will allow us to raise loyalty among the existing users and to gain new ones.”

In addition, Rambler’s rights deal also extends to Championat.com, one of the group’s dedicated sport platforms. Using real-time analytics to assess delivery, Okko-produced content such as post-match reviews, as well as player and coach interviews, will be made available for free on the site.

Richard Masters, the Premier League’s chief executive, added: “[Rambler] have exciting plans to make coverage available on multiple platforms, and we look forward to working with them as they showcase our competition to Premier League fans across Russia.”