Rambler Group, Russia’s third-largest internet company, is suing streaming service Twitch for 180 billion roubles (€2.47bn) over pirate broadcasts of English Premier League football games.
Rambler alleges its exclusive broadcasting rights were breached by the service over 36,000 times between August and November. It is now seeking to permanently ban the Amazon-owned platform – traditioanlly used for streaming of live video game playing – in Russia.
Twitch’s lawyer has called Rambler’s case “unfounded”.
Russia is the third-largest user of Twitch, which has more than 15 million daily active users globally. Its terms and conditions state users cannot share content without permission from the copyright owners, including movies, TV programmes and sporting events.
The streaming giant’s lawyer, Julianna Tabastaeva, told Russian-language news website Kommersant Twitch “only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users, or track possible violations”. She added the company took “all necessary measures to eliminate the violations, despite not receiving any official notification from Rambler”.
The Moscow City Court will hear the case on December 20th. It has ordered a temporary suspension of Premier League streams on Twitch pending the outcome.