Gazprom-Media sues TV channel distributor
JULY 7, 2021 09.32 EUROPE/LONDON BY CHRIS DZIADUL

A subsidiary of Russia’s Gazprom-Media has decided to sue Cypriot-based Vela Digital Media (VDM) for debts and a penalty amounting to R196 million (€2.24 million).

Quoting court records, Kommersant reports that the lawsuit was filed on April 22 and the first hearing took place on July 6.

However, the court records have yet to be updated. It adds that the subsidiary MRTV is trying to collect a debt for the exclusive retransmission of Gazprom-Media’s international channels Match! Planet,TNT-Comedy,TNT4 International, Friday! International and TV-3 International which the parties agreed at the end of October 2018.

As of the end of last year, the debt amounted to R204 million.

VDM is owned by Andrey Shlyakov, the former owner of the Eurostandard and Agrosoyuz banks, which both lost their licences. It partnered with Channel One’s international service (PKVS), which then terminated its contract with Kartina.TV, accusing it of piracy.

However, other leading broadcasters extended their contracts with Kartina.TV at the end of 2019 and Gazprom-Media is now also working with the company.