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Price hike hindering sale of 2018 World Cup broadcasting rights in Russia

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Moscow, Nov 23 (IANS) The broadcasting rights for the 2018 football World Cup haven't been purchased by host country Russia yet because of inflated prices, the country's Deputy Foreign Minister Vitaly Mutko has said.

The 2018 World Cup will be held from June 14 to July 15 across nearly a dozen Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Rostov-on-Don, Sochi and Volgograd, reports Sputnik.

According to chief of the Russia 2018 Organising Committee Alexei Sorokin, over $10 billion is expected to be spent on the first world football championship on Russian soil.

"So far, Russia has not acquired the rights to broadcast the football World Cup, although there is a pool of companies," Mutko told reporters on Tuesday.

"The price in our opinion is too high. The rights used to cost $32 million, and now they want to sell them for $100 (million)."

"FIFA will hold a bidding contest for the rights to telecast football cup matches. Russia has not acquired them yet. Initially the price was set at $32 million. The current one stands at $100 million," he added.

"The package also includes the Confederations Cup matches and a number of products. In our opinion, the price is overcharged."

"We will be holding more discussions with global governing body FIFA in Kazan (at the Confederations Cup lots drawing ceremony). Some hope for government funding, but it is to be a free market economy affair. We are to seek a compromise. Intensive work is on," Mutko said.

--IANS

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