Russian internet company Rambler Group has served Twitch with a lawsuit for illegal broadcasts of English Premier League soccer matches. As a result, the streaming business could owe 180 billion roubles ($2.8 million USD) and may have to terminate its service in Russia.
Based on a BBC report, Rambler claims Twitch violated its exclusive rights to broadcast all Premier League games in 2019. While speaking to Russian news site Kommersant, Twitch’s lawyer Julianna Tabastaeva argued that Twitch, “only provides users with access to the platform and is unable to change the content posted by users, or track possible violations.” She also added that Twitch did everything in its power to “eliminate the violations despite not receiving any official notification from Rambler.”
In a statement regarding the lawsuit, Rambler head of sports projects Mikhail Gershovich clarified, “Our suit against Twitch is to defend our exclusive rights to broadcast English Premier League matches and we will continue to actively combat pirate broadcasts.”
No ruling has come as of yet, as a case in Moscow City Court will occur on December 20th. However, until further notice, the Court has temporarily banned all English Premier League streams on Twitch. Seeing as Russia contains the third-largest viewership for the platform, this suspension could create some serious damage. We will provide any updates as they come.
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