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CBS reveals more details about UEFA Champions League plans

CBS Sports have revealed more details about their UEFA Champions League coverage, and in doing so, have officially confirmed their acquisition of the U.S. rights to the world’s most popular soccer club tournament for the 2021-2024 seasons.

After press reports last week that both CBS Sports and Univision had acquired the 2021-24 rights, CBS had their quarterly earnings call on Tuesday where they shared more details to investors.

At the same time, CBS Sports revealed that they’ve also acquired the rights to the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League for 2021-24.

“We are very excited about a new development for CBS All Access,” said CBS Corporation President and Acting CEO Joe Ianniello. “We will now have exclusive live marquee sports for the very first time. The UEFA Champions League, including Europa League and the newly-created UEFA Europa Conference League, will be coming to CBS and CBS Sports’ platforms with all matches available on All Access and select games available on broadcast.”

CBS All-Access is the paid streaming service from CBS that launched in 2014, and has quickly been gaining more subscribers.

“We will now have more than 400 matches per year spanning nine months across the calendar,” added Ianniello. “Soccer fans know these rights represent some of the most prestigious and popular soccer tournaments in the world, so we couldn’t be more pleased that we’ve won this hotly contested process. We’re currently finalizing contracts for this multi-year deal.”

While exact coverage details have not been announced yet, it’s important to note that CBS is emphasizing both CBS All-Access and the over-the-air CBS network. The biggest question is how many games will air on the free-to-air CBS network. With Turner’s acquisition of the Champions League, the original prediction was that TNT would air the majority of games but the final would air on TBS. That didn’t happen, so CBS confirming that select games will air on broadcast television gives CBS an instantaneous advantage over Turner Sports.

SEE MORE: What we know so far about CBS and Univision acquiring Champions League rights

“So with over 10,000 episodes of library content, catch-up viewing from the most-watched television network, a live stream of your local news and syndicated content, big tent pole sporting events, and a growing slate of premium original series, All Access has something for everyone,” concluded Ianniello.

In addition to the UEFA Champions League, CBS is looking forward to launching the 10-episode series of The Stand, one of Stephen King’s best books. The Stand will be exclusive to CBS All-Access.

Priced at $5.99 per month ($9.99 with an option for advertising-free streaming content), CBS All-Access offers a free 7-day trial to new users.

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  1. Mike

    November 15, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    CBS will probably continue the same plan they currently use:
    1. Tier 1 rated items go on CBS over the Air Channel (SEC Football, AFC NFL, Big Ten Basketball, March Madness)
    2. The lesser rated Sports (Mountain West Football, Racing, Olympic Sports, Mid Major Basketball) will go to CBS Sports Net.
    3. Reruns of the major events go to CBS Sports Net
    The Champions and Euorpa can easily fit at 1 pm and 3 pm T, W, and Thursday. CBS all access is different that ESPN+ With CBS All access you get all the content even the premium. With ESPN+ You don’t get the premium stuff that is on the over the air channel (NFL, NBA, Sunday night baseball). Also the video quality of CBS all access is really good. It is a moot point for me. I live in a city that has Univision, Unimass, and Telemondo as free local over the air HD channels so when you add in Local NBC, most of EPL, UCL, and UEL are all 100% free.

  2. John G.

    November 13, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    All too much anti-streaming rage is really pro-piracy rage with a smily clown face painted on top. The EFF does not stand up for effective anti-piracy devices to replace CableCard, as the USA’s FCC has proposed more than once, or attack the theft of intellectual property by day because many of them ARE pirates (or, worse, Anonymous or leakers of national security documents) by night… just as too many Deep Southern politicians and sheriffs did not attack the Klan during the day because they were wearing sheets at night.

    Anyone who says on here that intellectual property should be free to steal and redistribute or boasts about watching pirate streams is part of the problem, not part of the solution, Better to kill pirates and piracy than to anoint them successors to Robin Hood.

  3. NashRambler

    November 13, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    Unless this next television rights period includes semi-final, quarter-final, or round-of-16 matches shifted to Saturdays or Sundays the only live match Champions League content that will ever be carried over-the-air on the CBS Network is the Final.

    If all of the matches except the Final are on CBS All-Access the only live Champions League content I will watch during the next 3-year rights period will be the Final.

  4. cnl.onions

    November 13, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    What about CBSSN? Guessing that’s where the marquee non-final games will be shown just as is done with TNT and you’ll need the All-Access for the rest?

  5. JP

    November 13, 2019 at 11:44 am

    Chris, do you think this means CBS may bid for additional properties when the time comes? Serie A after 2020/21 or maybe even take over La Liga if beIN USA has to fold before 2024?

    • Christopher Harris

      November 13, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      It’s a possibility they could be interested in MLS when the current deal ends in 2022.

      • Eddie

        November 13, 2019 at 2:08 pm

        Who else can bid for soccer rights?

      • Eddie

        November 14, 2019 at 1:23 pm

        CBS could bid for MLS Soccer after ESPN and Fox expired.

  6. DiRT

    November 13, 2019 at 10:37 am

    Ugh. I don’t want anything else on CBS All Access. Looks like I’ll be watching games in Spanish.

  7. DK

    November 13, 2019 at 8:01 am

    Here’s hoping they avoid Wasserman’s stable of pseudo-pundits.

  8. rkujay

    November 13, 2019 at 7:28 am

    Look around people. Everything is going behind a ‘pay wall’. We used to complain about Fox and their lousy treatment of footy and its fans. Be careful what you wish for.

    • Me

      November 13, 2019 at 12:44 pm

      As a Brit, I’m amazed that you guys aren’t used to sport being behind a paywall. Most other countries in the world see sport as a premium add-on. The US is one of the only places I’ve ever been where it’s all on either free channels (over the air) or basic/general pack cable channels. All across Europe, Sub-Saharan and North Africa, Australia etc. etc., sport is considered ‘premium’ and requires additional subscriptions. Even then, it’s a LOT more than $9.99 on top of the bill. It looks like US broadcasters might finally have caught on to the extra cash cow it can be.

  9. David K.

    November 12, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    Thank goodness for Univision and TUDN!

  10. Brian

    November 12, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    This sounds bad to me. As much as we groaned and complained about Fox ….we all maybe wanting it back on it. Truly you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. Heck I would take Gus Johnson back if that means I get all the games they showed.

    • Adam Guillette

      November 12, 2019 at 11:09 pm

      I might’ve been with you until you mentioned Gus Johnson.

      • Azer

        November 13, 2019 at 10:48 am

        The Gus Johnson experiment was a long time ago. Do you guys remember the embarrassment from Fox Sports last year during the World Cup when they hired Jorge Perez Navarro and Mariano Trujillo to do commentary in English? How can you forget what we went through for an entire month? I’m sure we can find the video/audio for entertainment purposes. Anyway, Good luck to CBS Sports, hope they do better than TNT/B/R Live.

    • Brian

      November 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      All the games and Gus Johnson > Paying for what is called CBS All Access….. Gee I dunno. Is Dr Quinn Medicine Woman on there than perhaps!!!!!!

  11. Steve

    November 12, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Wow, very interesting, just hope, fingers crossed they use real TV channels for cable/satellite and less streaming games!

  12. David the Yank

    November 12, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    We remain skeptical of the use of the plural, unless they mean they will show exactly 3 Champions League finals over 3 years on the CBS main network. Getting pre-emptions for midweek games seems quite unlikely. So until CBS reports they will show more than just the 3 CL finals, and when/how they will do that, we should remain skeptical of their claim. I would see “select games on BROADCAST television” probably means some games on CBS Sports network not behind the All Access paywall. We currently get NONE of those matches for Europa, and 1 per time slot for CL (on TNT). Select sounds like it might be fewer, and (like ESPN+) they just go behind the paywall to sell All Access subscriptions.

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