With the US media rights for the UEFA Champions League having changed hands, we say goodbye to FOX Sports and ESPN Deportes’s coverage of the world’s greatest soccer club competition and hello to TNT and Univision Deportes who are preparing for their first-ever broadcasts of the UEFA Champions League group stage.
But what can we expect to see?
First, this season’s Champions League tournament features double-header games on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so instead of all of the games kicking off at 2:45pm ET, we’ll have a set kicking off at 12:55pm ET followed by the second set beginning at 3pm ET.
Second, Turner Sports has gone all-in on streaming a vast number of UEFA Champions League matches, so the number of games in English-language that’ll be on television will be far fewer than what we experienced previously where games would be spread across FS1, FS2, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Sports Net. Instead, there’ll be one game shown in English on TNT from 12:55pm ET followed by another one at 3pm ET. The remainder of games not on TV will be on B/R Live. Even the televised games will be on B/R Live too.
Third, while Turner Sports is focusing most of its attention on streaming, the Spanish-language Univision Deportes channels are going all-in on television. In the prior rights cycle, games in Spanish-language were beamed on FOX Deportes and ESPN Deportes. But under Univision, many timeslots will have three different games shown on television at the same time across Univision (simulcast on Univision Deportes Network), UniMas and Galavision. Meanwhile, all of the games will be available via the Univision Deportes en Vivo app.
Fourth and finally, TNT will give a debut to Oguchi Onyewu on their pre-match coverage of the UEFA Champions League coverage that begins at Noon ET on September 18 and 19. Kate Abdo will host the studio coverage from Turner Studios in Atlanta, joined by Carlos Bocanegra as Tuesday’s guest analyst and Tim Howard as the guest analyst on Wednesday. Stuart Holden will serve as host/analyst for B/R Football’s studio coverage originating from Los Angeles, alongside analyst Steve Nash both days, while Fernando Perez will continue to provide field reports from Europe.
So what will all this look like for the first week of the UEFA Champions League group stage to air on September 18-19? Here’s the TV/streaming schedule as of press time (subject to change):
All kickoff times listed are in Eastern United States timezone:
Tuesday, September 18
Inter Milan vs. Spurs (UEFA Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, Galavision, fuboTV and B/R Live
Schalke vs. Porto (UEFA Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, Galavision, fuboTV and B/R Live
Wednesday, September 19
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Hoffenheim (UEFA Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, Galavision, fuboTV and B/R Live
Manchester City vs. Lyon (UEFA Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, Galavision, fuboTV and B/R Live