CBS Sports have thrown out the “rule book” when it comes to broadcasting the UEFA Champions League on U.S. television. Instead of airing one featured match during the 3-5PM ET time window, CBS Sports are launching ‘The Golazo Show,’ a live whiparound show on CBS Sports Network and CBS All Access that’ll replace the traditional featured TV game but will include all of the goals and incidents from the live matches as they happen.
All of the games are available individually with the full 90 minutes live and on-demand via CBS All Access. But for soccer fans who want to stay abreast of all of the games, ‘The Golazo Show’ will bring everything to you in a broadcast that’ll be produced by CBS Sports from London, featuring some of the same talent that debuted in August and some additional new talent.
When the 3PM ET kickoff begins on ‘The Golazo Show,’ the match coverage will begin with either Clive Tyldesley or Peter Drury calling one of the major games in that timeslot. As goals or major incidents in other matches happen, the broadcast will switch to show that coverage so you don’t miss a single goal.7-day free trial to CBS All Access. Or you can watch ‘The Golazo Show’ on CBS Sports Network and CBS All Access.
Being a disruptor in the world of soccer broadcasting is nothing new for CBS Sports in the short time that they’ve aired the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and NWSL. With wall-to-wall coverage across CBS Sports HQ, CBS All Access and games on CBS Sports Network, CBS Sports are continuing to evolve their offerings. ‘The Golazo Show’ is just one part of CBS Sports’ eight hours of live coverage across multiple platforms for each UEFA Champions League Group Stage matchday. CBS Sports Network and CBS All Access will also air ‘The Golazo Pre-Match Show,’ beginning each matchday at 2:30 PM, ET to recap the two early games and set the stage for the remaining six matches.
CBS Sports HQ, the 24/7 streaming sports news network, will bookend CBS Sports’ UEFA Champions League live coverage, starting at 11 AM, ET and capping the day with a post-match show at 6 PM, ET.
With six games being played simultaneously during the 3-5PM ET timeslot on each matchday, it’s always difficult to pick which one game to feature on television. Having a whiparound show offers an ideal way to indulge in all of the games particularly when there are several concurrent matches that feature U.S. dominant storylines.
“A topic that comes up in every pre-production meeting are the Americans [playing in the Champions League],” said Pete Radovich, CBS Sports’ Coordinating Producer of UEFA, who spoke exclusively to World Soccer Talk. “We got this property at absolutely the perfect time in terms of the American presence in the Champions League. The first day of Champions League on matchday one is going to shatter the record for Americans playing in the Champions League if what we think happens between Juventus and Weston McKennie, and Chelsea [Christian Pulisic] and Dortmund [Gio Reyna] and Barcelona [Sergiño Dest and Konrad de la Fuente] and RB Leipzig [Tyler Adams].
“That’s something that will continue to be a theme through our coverage and something that we’re really, really excited about.”
In previous years, several broadcasters have tried whiparound shows for soccer including NBC Sports (when they had the rights to MLS), TUDN (who broadcast the popular Zona Futbol show around Champions League and Europa League games in Spanish), as well as FOX Sports who had a whiparound show that aired on the now defunct FOX Soccer Match Pass. Until now, no English-language broadcaster has done this type of whiparound show on U.S. television with the UEFA Champions League.
Asked about the strategy behind this decision, CBS Sports Digital EVP & GM Jeff Gerttula went into more detail.
“The goal of the [UEFA Champions League and Europa League] rights is to drive CBS All Access subscriptions. Everything is in CBS All Access, and that’s critical to the positioning that we have for this property which is that if you want to see every game, bonus coverage and additional features, you can subscribe. That’s the strategy in a nutshell.
“We want to be good to our consumers. We feel that [‘The Golazo Show’] will be very special. People can see everything, but our hope is that people will sign up for CBS All Access. That’s our business model around the event.”
While ‘The Golazo Show’ won’t be available for the Europa League games, the first week of 2020/21 UEFA Champions League coverage features several tantalizing games including Chelsea-Sevilla, Lazio-Dortmund, PSG-Man United, Bayern Munich-Atletico Madrid, Inter-Gladbach, Man City-Porto, Ajax-Liverpool. If just a few of those games live up to their promises, then ‘The Golazo Show’ promises to be a real treat.
Here’s the timeline for the 8 hours of live coverage every matchday:
11AM ET – UEFA Champions League Pre-Match Coverage (CBS Sports HQ and CBS All Access)
Noon ET – UEFA Champions League Today (CBS All Access)
12:55PM ET – Two UEFA Champions League Live Matches (CBS All Access)
2:30PM ET – The Golazo Pre-Match Show (CBS Sports Network and CBS All Access)
2:45PM ET – UEFA Champions League Today (CBS All Access)
3PM ET – Six UEFA Champions League live matches (CBS All Access)
3PM ET – ‘The Golazo Show’ (CBS Sports Network and CBS All Access)
5PM ET – UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show (CBS All Access)
6PM ET – UEFA Champions League Post-Match Coverage (CBS Sports HQ)
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