Interview with Ivan Lysko (vice-president of RRPL) (part 1 of 2)

With 2016 season of RRPL thing of the past, his vice-president Ivan Lysko talks about the current situation and the future of the league.

Could you explain us what is your role as vice-president of RRPL ?

Since 2014, I’m responsible for operational management of RRPL, marketing strategy including negotiation with TV networks. Mamuka Losaberidze is vice-president for the development of RRPL and finances.

So, you are the man behind streaming of matches ?

Yes. From the first day of my job in 2014, I tried to explain how streamng is important to the clubs but there’s still clubs to convince to make streaming. Kuban improved that a lot, making TV production of several games.

What is the current TV deal of RRPL ?

We can have matches live on the cable channel of Match TV. But we’re responsible for all costs, including TV production and delivery. Unfortunately, we have no budget for this,  we only broadcast matches paid by the clubs themselves. 10 matches were broadcasted on TV in 2016 : 9 on regional network of Match TV and the return leg of the final on Match TV federal channel. The return leg was played in the football stadium. It is very important to make coverage from good stadium if we want to broadcast on the federal channel.

Were  you satisfied by the ratings ?

Unfortunately, we don’t know the overall ratings because satellite channels in Russia are not measured.

What will be the TV coverage next season ?

It will depend on each club investment on TV production. But if the RRPL can provide TV production, we will sign a formal deal and every games will be on Match TV network. RRPL also try to find a way to broadcast some world rugby competitions to increase interest in rugby in Russia. The coverage of World Sevens Series in 2013-14 and 2014-15, U20 and Womens World Cup in 2014 and a weekly tv-show about RWC 2015 were very positive. This year we tried to push EPCR tournament to Match TV but they rejected our proposal.

« RRPL could rise to 8 clubs »

Will we see changes in RRPL next season ?

It will also depends on clubs’ finances. Our goal it is to keep the top division and try to increase the number of clubs from 6 to 8 without reflecting on the overall level

In a previous interview for, Vasily Artemiev told the number of foreigners should rise to 6 on the field and 8 on the team sheet. Is it a possibility ?

From this season, the numbers of foreign players in the clubs are in accordance with the federal law of sport : 4 on field, 6 in team sheet. But if you look at the RRPL squads this season, you find only three teams with foreign players, so 6 and 8 will only help the richer clubs and increase the gap between top clubs and development.

Tomorrow, Ivan Lysko will talk about the development model of RRPL