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RTVS postpones sports channel launch

RIJEKA, CROATIA - NOVEMBER 16: Robert Bozenik of Slovakia celebrates a goal with teammates during the UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier between Croatia and Slovakia on November 16, 2019 in Rijeka, Croatia. (Photo by Nel Pavletic - Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)

Slovakian public-service broadcaster RTVS has delayed the launch of its sports channel on a reluctance to enter into further financial commitments during the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

The channel was due to launch ahead of the 2020 Uefa European Championship on June 12. Euro 2020 has now been moved to 2021.

RTVS also planned to use the channel to broadcast the Olympic Games in Toyko, another major event which has now been moved to 2021 due to the pandemic.

The broadcaster said the delay is indefinite.

Matej Hajko, director of sport at RTVS, said: “At this point, it would be extremely irresponsible to announce a specific launch date for a new heading and enter into further financial commitments. We cannot predict how the situation will develop and which will sport in Slovakia and in the world fully operational”.

As well as the European Championships and Olympic Games, RTVS currently holds rights to the first-pick match of Uefa’s second-tier Europa League competition until the end of the 2020-21 season.

As a member of the European Broadcasting Union, it also holds rights to properties such as the Tour de France and International Biathlon Union.