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ERR €650,000 short for Euro 2016 and Olympic games coverage

ERR, the public broadcasting company, is struggling to find funds to show the 2016 Olympic games and the European Championships in football, asking the government for additional 650,000 euros.

The problem echoes 2014, when ERR was close to ditching football World Cup showing rights until the government found 300,000 euros. The problem built up to a feud between ERR's CEO Margus Allikmaa and Marko Kaljuveer, the head of the sports department.

Kaljuveer was sacked for focusing mostly on larger sporting events, leading to in-house criticism against Allikmaa. Allikmaa narrowly survived a no confidence vote in ERR's supervisory board.

This time around, Culture Minister Indrek Saar has spoken up on the topic, saying that his ministry has sent the finance ministry a request for additional funding to show the two 2016 summer events.

Saar said the finance ministry rejected the idea, but the topic is now in debate on the Cabinet level.

Rivo Saarna, the new head of the sports department at ERR, said they have already spent 300,000 euros in preparing for the Rio Olympic games coverage.

Allikmaa said viewers will not be punished with a blackout on the games, but budgets will be slashed if the additional funding is not gained from the state.

Editor: J.M. Laats

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