Bidding begins for US rights to Champions League and Europa League

It only seemed like yesterday Turner Sports acquired the English-language rights to the UEFA Champions League in the US market, but despite just being in year two of a three-year rights cycle, the bidding for the next round of Champions League and Europa League rights — for 2021 to 2024 — are already underway.

According to UEFA, the bidding for the UEFA Champions League will also include rights to the UEFA Super Cup. Meanwhile, the rights to the UEFA Europa League are being sold separately, which will include the rights to UEFA’s brand-new competition named the UEFA Europa Conference League.

And it’s not only the bidding for the English-language rights that are happening. The Spanish-language rights to the competition are also an item of interest especially given Univision’s successful launch last season when it was the most-watched edition in the competition’s history on U.S. television, regardless of language, reaching nearly 22.2 million viewers.

UEFA added that the sales process will be administered on behalf of UEFA by TEAM Marketing, UEFA’s exclusive marketing agency for the selling of media and commercial rights relating to its club competitions. The deadline for media companies to bid on the rights is November 5, 2019.

World Soccer Talk contacted Turner Sports and Univision/TUDN to ask about their interest in renewing their rights, but both declined to comment.

Asked about ESPN+’s level of interest in the Champions League, ESPN executive Scott Guglielmino said: “We continue to build out the portfolio of sport that we have across ESPN and certainly Champions League and Europa League are world class properties and represent a unique opportunity. They would certainly make great compliments to the Bundesliga and Serie A that we already have,” he told SportBusiness.

Under their current deal, Turner and Univision’s rights to the UEFA Champions League will end at the close of the 2020/21 season.

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