BBC Monitoring is confirming that Russian president Vladimir Putin has ordered the government to work with a number of organisations in order to set up a new free-to-air sports channel.
Putin’s instructions include media giant Gazprom, All-Russia State TV & Radio (VGTRK), Sportivnoye Veshchaniye, and the Russian Olympic Committee, to establish a “mandatory sports-oriented TV channel [similar] to that operated by NTV-Plus,” said the order.
NTV-Plus is part of Gazprom-Media Holdings, which according to the BBC report, will see the proposed channel use the facilities of NTV-Plus.
The report, quoting news agency TASS, says the new channel will be managed and part of Rossiya-2 (which has recently been moved into Gazprom-Media) and will use broadcasting resources – analogue and digital – of Rossiya-2. Certain key events such as the Olympics, soccer World Cups and European championships, are already shown free-to-air on VGTRK’s Rossiya-1 channel.