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Viewers facing fewer choices in Champions League Round of 16

Turner Sports have followed through on their promise to only broadcast one UEFA Champions League match per gameday for the knockout stages of the competition that begins on February 12.

While it’s often a dilemma for soccer fans to decide which game to watch in the Knockout Round because they’re both played at the same time each matchday, TNT has made the decision for you.

Instead of featuring the showcase game on TNT and using one of their other TV networks to broadcast the other match — like FOX Sports did with games on FS1 and FS2 — you’ll only get to see one game on TV.

To date, Turner Sports has only televised Champions League games on TNT, and have resisted the temptation to use their other TV networks to show games (although one of their executives recently admitted to World Soccer Talk that it could be a possibility in the future).

When the Champions League returns to action on February 12, TNT has elected to broadcast Manchester United against Paris Saint-Germain instead of AS Roma-Porto FC. And on the following day, it’ll be Spurs-Dortmund instead of Ajax-Real Madrid, which will certainly upset the legions of Madridistas in the United States.

Of course, all of the matches will be available via Turner’s Bleacher Report streaming service — as well as in Spanish on the Univision Deportes networks, but TNT’s decision to stick to its commitment of televising one match per day in the Knockout Round is going to upset a lot of soccer fans.

The decision to select Man United-PSG and Spurs-Dortmund instead of Roma-Porto and Ajax-Real Madrid won’t generate tidal waves of angst, but the challenge for TNT will be on other matchdays in the Round of 16.

For example, should TNT choose to televise:

• Liverpool-Bayern Munich or Lyon-Barcelona on February 19?
• Atletico Madrid-Juventus or Schalke-Manchester City on February 20?

So far, it appears that TNT is electing to broadcast the matches featuring the Premier League teams on matchdays while the more Spanish-centric teams such as Real Madrid and Barcelona are favored on the Univision channels.

The big question for Turner Sports and Bleacher Report is this, however. Is B/R Live ready to handle the surge of traffic in the Round of 16 from fans wanting to stream games? B/R Live has encountered huge problems with NBA Pass and the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson golf event.

As of press time, here’s the preliminary TV schedule for the next round of the UEFA Champions League (all kickoff times listed are in the Eastern United States timezone):

 

Tuesday, February 12

Manchester United vs. PSG (UEFA Champions League Round of 16), 3pm, TNT, Univision Deportes Network, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV and B/R Live

Roma vs. Porto (UEFA Champions League Round of 16), 3pm, streamed via B/R Live and Univision Deportes app (use your fuboTV credentials to watch games via Univision Deportes stream)

 

Wednesday, February 13

Spurs vs. Dortmund (UEFA Champions League Round of 16), 3pm, TNT, fuboTV, PlayStation Vue and Sling TV and B/R Live

Ajax vs. Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League Round of 16), 3pm, Univision Deportes Network, B/R Live and fuboTV (free trial)

 

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Ben

    February 5, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    Got so used to Champions League being on ESPN. A lot of people may not have liked their coverage, but I thought it was decent.

  2. Scott

    February 5, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I don’t speak Spanish, but always DVR and watch the Spanish broadcast.

    • littlekahuna

      February 13, 2019 at 11:15 pm

      Why doesn’t the SAP button work in reverse?

      I think they are plotting against us and don’t want us to understand them.

      The DVR option helps in skipping past the cavalcade of commercials and TNT’s unsightful commentary especially that angry dutchman.

  3. Yespage

    February 5, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Liverpool v Bayern seems to be a fairly solid, obvious to broadcast game… and not because it has an EPL squad. However, Atletico Madrid v Juventus would seem the better game on paper verses Schalke and Man City.

  4. Macsimillian

    February 3, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    The problem with this is the reason they bid for the us rights in the first place, just as ESPN+ they put it behind a paywall as a payback for rules imposed on them…
    …that’s why TNT can’t show it on their other networks, this is old news.
    They only outbid each other as part of the power struggles between the newly-consolidated-network-giants…more as a way to keep the others from getting it than any interest in soccer

    • locofooty

      February 6, 2019 at 9:21 am

      What rules were imposed? Can you elaborate on that?

  5. Daniel

    February 3, 2019 at 2:26 am

    Its like Turner just doesnt give a crap

  6. succa99

    February 2, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    R.I.P. Fox Soccer Channel

  7. Jérémy

    February 2, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    But the March madness will be on TNT , truetv ,TBS simultaneously during 12hours a day Thursday through Sunday for 4 weeks

    • Eddie

      February 2, 2019 at 5:37 pm

      Could Turner sports teamcast the finals on June 1 of Uefa champions league?
      Just like NCAA march madness
      Like TNT has national coverage
      Trutv and TBS will have own teams

    • Payasos

      February 3, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Right………now go check ratings, fan interest, ad revenue generated, fees paid in the U.S. for the NCAA tournament vs UEFA Champions league then come back to us.

  8. Joey

    February 2, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Fox never bothered me at all. Had more games and FS Match Pass worked fine. I’m almost glad this happened to all you purist hipsters who call it “football” that complained for so long about Fox. Now look, not only do you have less games but you have less coverage and all are behind a paywall! HAHA. Coverage never bothered me on any network, i was just happy the games were on TV but hey, you all got what you wanted right? Maybe this speaks to the popularity in the US that its not nearly big enough as we may think.

    • Azer

      February 2, 2019 at 11:23 pm

      Hello Joey,
      The only reason people were complaining about Fox Sports is because Fox would relegate some big games to Fox Sports 2 or FS Plus. Millions of people didn’t have those channels, and not everyone paid for FS Match Pass. There were other reasons of course –
      Some people complained about John Strong and Stuart Holden doing UCL commentary instead of the world feed. Fox Sports also tried to trick it’s viewers twice into believing John and Stuart were at the stadium by photoshopping the background picture, remember that story.
      People had every right to complain. When you see something wrong, you have to say something. I’d suggest you do some research next time before you post nonsense.

    • Edwin

      February 4, 2019 at 11:59 am

      Same things I’ve always said which I won’t wish ill will on MLS like the anti-MLS crowd does. Soccer isn’t as big as we think it is honestly. In the Spanish speaking US community yes but it has a ceiling that only gets lowered the more we seek to purify the game with so many complaints its not authentic its got this and that wrong about it. Lets do it like Europe I won’t watch or take it seriously. Well I saw this day coming and I have news for those people I just talked about European Soccer will be the first to go off TV long before the US based MLS does.

      So how about we support the game, wherever and however its played. The sport will be in a better place in America. It’s already a niche product yes even the Premier League is niche It’s not getting NBA, MLB or NFL numbers for its biggest games. I love soccer it irritates me with these hipster purist radicals they serve no purpose and just like to hear themselves and seek attention to themselves on social media. There is a time and place for these Steven A typer personalities but let the game grow first. Dividing soccer fans and pitting them against each other is far worse than MLS trying “to get rich or die tryin”
      I’d rather see someone get out and make it then to be in a group of jealous, envious and self loathing Euro posers.

      • JP

        February 5, 2019 at 10:40 am

        Wanting to watch high quality soccer (usually in Europe) over subpar MLS (usually, Atlanta is ok) does not make one a poser. Same reason the NBA is followed in other countries. Fans want to watch the best compete. People can see the difference in play between Europe and MLS and make a choice to follow one over the other. Until MLS improves the talent (over expansion not helping) it will have the stigma of being a minor league or a refuge for older stars looking for their last payday.

        As for the EPL and other ratings not comparing to the major American sports, that’s obvious. But you also have to factor in those matches are often played in the mornings or early weekend afternoons (or during workday afternoons in the case of Champions League) so the ratings have a natural ceiling. If time wasn’t an issue and the matches could be played at times more conducive to our schedules the ratings would be higher…..not NFL levels obviously, but higher than they are currently.

        Look at World Cup ratings when the tournament is played in a time zone close to ours….

        • Edwin

          February 5, 2019 at 3:44 pm

          I disagree with your premise and it does make them Euro Snobs. Of course Euro Snobs don’t want to be called that and don’t view themselves that way, no shock there. But the talent excuse is played out its just an excuse used for snobbery. Look at Liga MX a league that is only slightly better than MLS and no where near as talented as EPL,but has higher TV ratings than EPL in the US. You ever thought why? It’s the footballing culture ingrained in the Spanish Speaking community. We need more of that for OUR domestic league.

          I can go back and forth with you all day but I think you’re way off. Its sounds cool and all saying what you said but the facts don’t back up your theory. If it was all about the talent EPL would be the most watched league and not just beating MLS by less than 100k in overall cable ratings the gap would be much bigger. That type of differential when it comes to TV is minute. We in the US soccer community just like to try and create divisions of superiority. The fact is its all niche EPL, MLS and to a lesser extent Liga MX.
          For the ways people like you’re self love to prod MLS and glamify your Euro Leagues MLS keeps growing bigger and on TV so our point about people not watching doesn’t make sense when more do each yr?

          It doesn’t matter what time EPL comes on in the US its not getting NBA/NFL/MLB numbers on broadcast TV. Also NBC now airs some late EPL games that don’t finish til 3. It’s not a MLS thing its a US soccer culture with Euro Snobs in our family thing.

          You can’t have a niche product in soccer then think you can be snobby about it and further divide your community. Then you go and whine about not being able to see your favorite EuroSnob leagues like Serie A/Bundesliga/EPL. What’d ya expect. We all gotta stick together build the game up and stop being so damn arrogant and snobby. Maybe Euro snobs will learn one day. If you’re offended you may be the EuroSnob I was talking about.

          Disclaimer you can like Euro Leagues I do I watch them but I support OUR league too and don’t feel the need to try and diminish it when its growing in popularity each yr,

  9. Me

    February 2, 2019 at 7:36 am

    They could well have chosen the two least attractive ties for TV and put the biggest ones exclusively on the B/R app. At least the two biggest ties of the round are on TNT.

  10. Macman1958

    February 1, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    My question is why UEFA would schedule the games to be played simultaneously when they used two different time windows each day during the group stages. If they felt they could get a larger viewing audience splitting the matches between two daily windows in the early rounds, why not contnue it in later rounds when interest increases?

    • Steven

      February 2, 2019 at 8:35 am

      I too am surprised that UEFA didn’t continue its two time slots per matchday scheduling. I would say it is even more important in the knockout stages than in the group stages. Very confounding.

    • Payasos

      February 3, 2019 at 9:57 am

      Because then the games will be on 6pm local time and for the knockout rounds it would be ridiculous to start them at that time for European TV windows and fans attending the matches during the week.

    • Ritchie

      February 5, 2019 at 1:09 pm

      I never really understood the rationale behind which games were chosen for 1pm during the group stage. It isn’t like half the matches were pushed to the early time: it was one per day.

  11. Wrong Said Fred

    February 1, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    They want me to watch via a pirated stream online, eh? Done and done.

    • rkujay

      February 2, 2019 at 6:30 am

      They do seem to be driving people to piracy more and more, don’t they?

  12. Brendan

    February 1, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    B/R Live is absolute dreadful . The streaming is very poor goes off freezes and their is no technical support to help u . U just have to trying to reboot it yourself . How these people can charge for this lousy service is mind boggling . All the other streaming services like ESPN + and NBC Gold are very good and I have never had any problems

  13. Kevin

    February 1, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    I don’t have a problem with this because Turner Sports needs to make money on the rights and get people to sign up for the BR app.

    In any event, if you have Univision, you can watch both matches, albeit in Spanish.

    • Payasos

      February 3, 2019 at 10:01 am

      BINGO! But let people here tell it, they think it should be free to “grow the game” , some on here think NBC should preempt CNBC during the business week to show Newcastle Burnley.

    • Macsimillian

      February 3, 2019 at 10:11 pm

      Yep cuz the way things have been, free on FS1 & 2, is so outrageous, all soccer in us should be behind a paywall
      I hope you’re just a bot & not a real dimwit

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