Bleacher Report have established themselves as one of the most competitive names in American soccer broadcasting in the last year. Their acquisition of the UEFA Champions League, and the subsequent launch of their comprehensive streaming service, B/R Live, have made Bleacher Report a player in the market.
Through the rise of streaming and a partnership with their parent company Turner, Bleacher Report was able to stream every Champions League match last season. They also have a plethora of football writers and a terrific podcast, B/R Football Ranks.
B/R Live took another giant leap forward this month by adding the club TV channels of three of England’s biggest clubs (Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham) to their streaming platform in the United States.
LFCTV (Liverpool), Spurs TV, and Arsenal TV have all been added to B/R Live, and are therefore accessible through online streaming, as well as all the major smart devices/TV’s (Amazon Fire, Apple, etc.)
Each acquisition has various benefits and features for both Bleacher Report and viewers alike.
Arsenal TV includes Arsenal’s International Programming Block, a three hour period of content from Arsenal produced for every match day, including pre- and post- match coverage across the Premier League, the UEFA Europa League, and domestic cups.
Apart from match day, Arsenal TV offers other ways for Gunners fans to consume content. Full match replays of every first team match will be made available after around 12 hours following Premier League and FA Cup matches. Due to B/R having the Europa League rights, full match replays will likely be made available instantly.
Additionally, classic Arsenal matches will be archived and available, and weekly magazine programming, Arsenal World and Arsenal 360, will also be made available.
Arsenal TV was previously available on GolTV, but will now be exclusively available through B/R Live.
LFCTV, Liverpool’s TV channel, has also been picked up by B/R Live. The defending European champions have similar features to Arsenal, highlighted by every LFC first team match (with the similar 12 hour delay for EPL, FA, and League Cup fixtures).
What sets LFCTV apart is the additional content provided: audio commentary during all first team matches is provided, along with live streaming of reserve team and academy matches, along with occasional Legends/Testimonial matches; up to 4 LFC Women’s WSL matches per season; and, critically, live pre and most match analysis during all first team matches, typically starting an hour before kickoff and concluding an hour after the final whistle.
All in all, LFCTV offers over 30 hours weekly of content outside of match coverage — news, programming, classic matches, and features on all things LFC.
Commenting on the partnership was Billy Hogan, Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer of LFC: “We’re incredibly excited to expand our partnership with Turner Sports to launch LFCTV on B/R Live. The relationship with Turner began this summer when they did a terrific job broadcasting our pre-season tour matches and we’re delighted to be extending it as we look to offer more LFC content to all our fans in the US over the coming seasons.”
Wrapping up the acquisition is Spurs TV, which features many similar components included in Arsenal’s TV package — a 3-hour weekly programming block; full match replays of every Tottenham first team matches; and archived classic Spurs matches.
Aidan Mullally, Head of Business Development at Tottenham Hotspur, said: “We are pleased to bring B/R Live on board as a media partner in the United States. B/R Live has quickly built a great reputation for producing insightful and engaging soccer coverage, particularly following the acquisition of the UEFA Champions League broadcast rights in the United States 12 months ago, and we are delighted that Spurs TV is now part of B/R Live’s coverage. We have an incredible following in the region already with more than 70 supporters’ clubs across the country and we hope this relationship can further strengthen our relationship with our fans in this part of the world.”
Overall, this is a massive addition for B/R Live. While the acquisition of the Champions League was the Golden Goose that jumpstarted their rise into the stratosphere of soccer broadcasting/streaming, this only bolsters their programming arsenal (no pun intended). With this acquisition, B/R Live now have deals with three of the top six clubs in England.
The emphasis now shifts to future acquisitions. While ESPN+ should be the frontrunner for any soccer leagues TV rights, due to their influx in programming over the last 15 months, B/R Live could seek to add the TV networks of the other big three Premier League clubs (Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea) to their repertoire, which would complete one of the most comprehensive arrays of soccer programming available.
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