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What happens to B/R Live now (for soccer fans)?

It started with so much promise. It ended with a whimper.

In 2012, Turner Sports bought Bleacher Report for a reported $175 million. While Bleacher Report became a behemoth on social media and a popular app for sports content, the sports-centric site had bigger goals. Namely, creating a B/R Football brand that would feature streams of live soccer.

Soon after acquiring the rights to the UEFA Champions League in 2017 for the season beginning 2018/19, Turner and Bleacher Report announced that more than 80% of European games would be available via their streaming site B/R Live.

At the time, B/R Live was seen as an exciting up-and-coming streaming platform. While the future promised so much, a Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson golf event that was a disaster on B/R Live followed by Turner Sports finding out they had lost the rights to the Champions League in the early stages of their second year of a three-year rights deal were a bad omen for the streaming platform. Then in June 2020, they handed the Champions League back to UEFA more than one year before their contract was set to expire. Bleacher Report had effectively given up.

So, what now? Where does B/R Live go from here?

On top of B/R Live quitting the Champions League, they also lost the rights to the Europa League, the forthcoming Conference League, the Scottish Premiership and Belgian pro league. They have no soccer leagues or competitions remaining.

What B/R Live still has are the exclusive rights to stream a handful of club soccer channels including MUTV, LFC TV, Spurs TV and Arsenal TV. For diehard supporters of those clubs, B/R Live is worth checking out. But for fans of other teams, there’s very little that’s appealing about B/R Live anymore.

Unfortunately, B/R Live will live with the stigma of being the site that transformed, and not in a good way, the majority of Champions League football from TV under FOX to behind a paywall on B/R Live. That created animosity among a lot of soccer fans. And it didn’t help that the early days of the Champions League on B/R Live were filled with technical issues, mistakes and a poor user interface.

As time drifted on, B/R Live became more reliable. But the streaming service, just like the poor start that TNT made with the Champions League on TV, had already left a negative first impression.

In the near future, the plan is for Turner Sports to fold the B/R Live streaming service into the Bleacher Report app, and to include gambling content.

B/R Live may not be dead yet, but for soccer fans, the final whistle has already blown.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Adam

    July 16, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    Does Christopher Harris know anything about where Belgian and Scot Prem rights are headed for the upcoming season? If they’re not coming back to B/R where will they be?

    • JP

      July 16, 2020 at 8:12 pm

      I’d put heavy odds on Eleven Sports or ESPN+

  2. Greg

    July 15, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    B/R Live was a misnomer, it was more like B/R Buffering

  3. Adam

    July 15, 2020 at 12:15 am

    Please please please Belgian and Scot Prem on espn+?!!?!!!??!??!!

    • Eurosnob

      July 15, 2020 at 8:40 am

      That would be nice!!!

  4. Donald Duck

    July 14, 2020 at 10:13 pm

    I just hope for the sake of all American MLS fans that B/R doesn’t get the rights from ESPN. They have said they want it but I sure hope CBS or ESPN will outbid them.

    • Eurosnob

      July 15, 2020 at 8:39 am

      B/R would be a good fit for MLS. And on a side note, 55.7% of the players in MLS is not American (USA/Canada).

  5. Brendan

    July 14, 2020 at 9:47 pm

    Amen

  6. Michal

    July 14, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    Any idea what happens with the Belgian League?

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