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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