Twitch avoids Russia ban over pirated Premier League games

Twitch is still being sued for $3 billion, though.

Image via Twitch

Twitch will not be banned in Russia after Rambler Group, the third-largest internet company in Russia, stopped trying to push Twitch out of the country. Rambler Group is still suing Twitch for $3 billion over pirated broadcasts of English Premier League games.

On Monday, Rambler Group filed the $3 billion lawsuit against Twitch, alleging the streaming service had been used to illegally broadcast pirated footage from Premier League games around 36,000 times in a four-month span. Rambler Group says Twitch breached its exclusive broadcasting rights by allowing these broadcasts to air on its website between August and November.

In response, Twitch removed all of the infringing content from its archives and is now no longer in danger of being banned in Russia. And, according to reports from the BBC, sources within Twitch are optimistic that the company will not have to pay out any compensation as the proceedings continue. 

Mikhail Gershkovich, the head of sports projects for Rambler Group, said “negotiations are ongoing” for a settlement between Rambler Group and Twitch.

“Our lawsuit to Twitch is about protection of our exclusive rights to broadcast matches of the English Premier League, and we will continue to actively fight against pirated broadcasts,” Gershkovich said to the Russian News Agency on Monday. “At the moment, negotiations are ongoing with Twitch to sign a settlement agreement. The service has given us the tools to fight with pirated broadcasts, and now we are only talking about compensation for damage caused from August to November.”

Rambler previously purchased exclusive digital distribution rights for the next three seasons of the Premier League from Russian public sports channel Match TV.

Twitch’s parent company Amazon also purchased streaming rights for certain Premier League games earlier this year, securing the exclusive broadcast rights to 20 games for three years.