Russia has signaled a further relaxation of its ban on advertising on cable and satellite TV channels.

It would, reports Vedomosti, quoting the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), effectively see it lifted for sports channels.

In the case of foreign services, Russian commentary would allow them to be classified as “national content” and therefore permissible under existing rules.

The original ban, which came into effect at the beginning of this year, was soon afterwards amended so that channels showing 75% Russian content were allowed to carry commercials.

The new relaxation will have little effect on Russian sports channels, with the largest owners of such services – RTR and NTV-Plus – already having been issued with licences by Roskomnadzor classifying them as essential services and therefore allowing advertising.

However, it will impact on Eurosport and Eurosport 2, which are the first and third most popular sports channels distributed via cable and satellite in Russia.

Although their Russian language versions have until now not carried advertising, this was not the case for those in English.