Match TV and VKontakte announce a strategic partnership

The Russian federal sports channel Match TV is uniting with the social network VKontakte (part of Group) to cover the most important sporting events. The first step of this partnership was the integration of the content from Match TV into an “Olympic” news reel that the social network created and launched in time for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“We are pleased to announce the beginning of this strategic partnership with the Match TV channel, the largest Russian sports media, thanks to which social network users can gain access to the most relevant sports content. A partnership between VKontakte and Match TV is a great opportunity to promote sport and a healthy lifestyle in our country,” said Boris Dobrodeyev, general manager of VKontakte.

“As a federal sports channel, we have the responsibility to give the largest possible number of viewers the opportunity to see, hear and read sports news. With the help of VKontakte, the leading social network on Russian-language Internet, more than 90 million people will be able to get this opportunity. We want all of them, at any time of day and night, to have access to broadcasts of competitions and exclusive content from sporting events. We also want to support Russian athletes with all the technological capabilities and platforms that we and our partners possess,” said Tina Kandelaki, general producer of Match TV.

The new partners are now preparing large-scale research studies on the popularity of certain sports in general and, specifically, among VKontakte users in Russia. The results will be announced on Match TV in September.

There are plans to launch regular online video chats with popular Russian athletes, Match TV commentators and hosts using VKontakte as the platform. Match TV also plans to use VKontakte for the castings of its sports reality shows as well as the Russia-wide contest for sports commentators, whose winners will later be featured on the channel’s broadcasts.