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CBS acquires Champions League for 2019/20 through 2020/21

CBS Sports are scheduled to announce on Thursday morning that the broadcaster has acquired the English-language rights to the culmination of the 2019/20 seasons of the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Plus, World Soccer Talk has learned that the U.S.-based broadcaster will broadcast the 2020/21 season of the UEFA club competitions one year earlier than expected due to Turner Sports giving the rights back to UEFA.

According to a World Soccer Talk source, CBS Sports will broadcast the UEFA Champions League and Europa League draw this Friday on CBS All Access and CBS Sports HQ via a stream live from Nyon in Switzerland. Coverage of the draw for the latter rounds of this season’s UEFA Champions League and Europa League will begin Friday at 5:45AM ET with a preview of the draw, followed by the UEFA Champions League draw that will begin at 6AM ET. The draw for the UEFA Europa League will then begin at 7AM ET.

CBS Sports had already acquired the rights to the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Conference League for seasons 2021/22 through 2023/24, but with Turner Sports bailing on their rights, it has given CBS Sports the unique opportunity to have the rights for more than four full seasons.

All of the games are expected to stream live on CBS All Access, the subscription-only streaming service from CBS. As of press time, no final decision had been made whether the 2020 UEFA Champions League would air on the over-the-air CBS channel or CBS All Access. CBS Sports reserves the right to elevate some key games to their over-the-channel.

For the 2019/20 seasons of the UEFA club competitions, matches will begin on Wednesday, August 5 through Thursday, August 6 with the return of the Europa League Round of 16 games that feature crucial games for Manchester United, Inter Milan, AS Roma, Rangers, Wolves and several other high-profile clubs. The UEFA Champions League will then return beginning on Friday, August 7 through that weekend with Round of 16 second leg games featuring Juventus-Lyon, Manchester City-Real Madrid, Barcelona-Napoli and Bayern Munich-Chelsea. Then during the following week, the quarterfinals for both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League will air.

CBS’s coverage of the Champions League and Europa League this season will culminate with the Europa League final on August 21 and then the UEFA Champions League final on August 23.

The 2020/21 seasons of the Champions League and Europa League are expected to begin during the fall of 2020.

CBS Sports are expected to reveal more details of its coverage plans on Thursday. A source to World Soccer Talk revealed it’s their understanding that the production of the shoulder programming around the games themselves will come out of the CBS Sports Network studios located in New York City.

A CBS Sports spokesperson could not be reached for comment.

With the recent acquisition of NWSL rights by CBS All Access, the paid-subscription service will be boosted by the addition of the UEFA Champions League. At $6 per month, CBS All Access is continuing to add more sports rights in addition to live and on-demand programming.

Univision and TUDN have the Spanish-language rights to the UEFA club competitions through the end of the 2023/24 seasons.

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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Efrain

    July 9, 2020 at 6:34 am

    Hope they create DVR options or on demand so subscribers that work during the day can watch the matches later that day! Also hope the picture quality is as good as their current shows on CBS Access because B/R Live had crap for PQ.

    • Justin

      July 26, 2020 at 11:46 pm

      Exactly. This will suck if we are forced to take time off work to watch

  2. MDFootball

    July 8, 2020 at 8:11 pm

    Signed up for cbs all access for NWSL Tournament. Two things I definitely don’t like:
    1. 30 frames per second – just like BR
    2. Replays aren’t immediately available- unless I’m missing something, they don’t show up until the next day

    Their production and commentary crews have been pretty good though

  3. JP

    July 8, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    If the matches end up being exclusively on CBS All Access instead of CBS Sports Network they have no shot of getting my eyeballs away from TUDN!

    Come on CBS, don’t mess this up, you finally have something worth showing on your dedicated sports cable network. If you want to also offer as a stream via All Access for those who don’t have cable then fine, but it better not be exclusive!

    • Donald Duck

      July 8, 2020 at 7:50 pm

      I have no issues if they put 1 or 2 matches a day on CBSSN however they better have ALL the matches on All Access I dont want to pay for a Live service when i can just get the dedicated app and be all set for every match.

      • JP

        July 8, 2020 at 8:22 pm

        That is the best option, and after the group stage isn’t as much of an issue.

        The days of Fox showing two matches in the same window (via FS1 and FS2) and overflow matches usually available to stream on ESPN with cable authentication is looking better and better as time goes on.

        If CBS does something similar with matches on CBSSN and all available to stream via cable authentication or $6 subscription if no cable, then it’s a win.

        But I suspect they’re going to try the Turner model of making the streams cost extra even if you already have Turner access from cable. The double dipping is the main complaint, just like when NBC took away the authentication streams in favor of Gold.

        • Donald Duck

          July 9, 2020 at 9:26 am

          Well CBS All Access is 5.99/9.99 a month or 59.99/99.99 a year for commercial/no commercial. If all you want is Champions and Europa league and whatever other LIVE programming is offered then go 5.99 or 59.99. If you plan on streaming alot of CBS All Access content then go No Commercials option.

          • JP

            July 9, 2020 at 9:58 am

            That’s not my point. I already have cable because in order to cobble together everthing I need (RSN’s etc) it’s not much more cost effective to cut the cord, plus it’s more convenient.

            If I’m already paying for CBSSN I should expect to authenticate online for streaming access rather than being charged again. As it stands, I will be able to watch all the matches through TUDN so not going to pay extra for English commentary if CBS plans to charge me more to watch online (if matches aren’t on CBS or CBSSN).

            NBC had it right before Gold, went backwards. ESPN had it right in the days of ESPN3 or WatchESPN.

            • Ritchie

              July 9, 2020 at 10:59 am

              I agree. I do understand why they want UCL to bring in more subscribers. However, I was comfortable watching non-TNT games on Univision before so it won’t be much of an adjustment to see everything on Univision networks now.

        • Ritchie

          July 9, 2020 at 11:06 am

          From what I’ve read at a few news sources, CBSAA will be the default. Selected games will be replayed later that night on CBSSN. Some live games might make it to CBSSN or even CBS.

      • Rich

        July 9, 2020 at 6:41 am

        Variety magazine says that CBSSN will air some replays in the evening like Fox used to.

  4. Rich

    July 8, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I know they already had the rights for next year, but I was hoping a Service I already subscribe to picked up this last year of coverage. I already get Univision, so I’ll just stick with that For the next 4 years.

  5. Fozzie

    July 8, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Do we know how many (if any) games will air on CBS Sports Network?

    • Justin

      August 23, 2020 at 12:51 am

      apprently 1 or 0 because they are scumbags and want people to sign up for cbs access.

  6. Donald Duck

    July 8, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    May I just say THANK YOU CBS. Best news this week. Im subscribing today. I hope they bring there A game and have a great resolution be it 720 1080 or 4k HDR.

  7. Carl Armour

    July 8, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    Is B/R live offering refunds for those who paid for the league pass?

    • Christopher Harris

      July 8, 2020 at 6:05 pm

      From what I heard, B/R Live are finalizing decisions on partial refunds for subscribers who are entitled to them.

      • Carl Armour

        July 9, 2020 at 8:58 am

        Thanks. Here’s the response I received today:

        Thanks for reaching out to B/R Live.

        A refund plan is in the works and we will have more details on how we will be handling customer accounts soon.

        Thank you for your patience.

        If you have any further questions, feel free to reply to this email or call us at 1(888)BRL-4441. We’re here to help.

        Have a good one!

        B/R Live Support

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