MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti)
Russian state television has made a $110 million bid for the right to broadcast the Russian Premier League for the next three years and take the football competition back to terrestrial sets.
The public broadcaster VGTRK had a $420 million offer for six years rejected by the league, prompting satellite operator NTV Plus, which has held the rights since 2007, to step in with a counteroffer of $100 million for three years.
VGTRK then raised its bid to $110 million.
"Due to the fact that it [agreement] is applied not for six years, but for three years, we are making a new proposal," said VGTRK editor-in-chief Dmitry Melnikov.
The issue has been controversial over the last few years as Russians accustomed to getting their football for free were suddenly deprived.
NTV Plus, which claims more than two million viewers, has traditionally sublet the rights to the bigger games of the weekend to VGTRK in a move to appease the authorities.
VGTRK claims to reach 98 percent of Russia's 143 million population.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.