While the English-language coverage of the UEFA Champions League has been going through plenty of changes from B/R Football to CBS as well as fewer games now on television, TUDN has been bucking the trend. After beginning its exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the Champions League in 2018, TUDN has been a model of consistency. Many of the games are featured on television. And while streaming is one of many priorities for the Miami-based broadcaster, TV is still the name of their game.
TUDN’s current rights to the tournament don’t expire until the spring of 2024. By that time, TUDN will have given UEFA six seasons of continuous coverage. With the cable and satellite industry in upheaval, TUDN has been one of the consistent performers, breaking records along the way.
English-speaking soccer fans are taking notice too. During the flurry of Champions League games that were played in the summer after the restart of the 2019/20 tournament, the numbers were quite revealing.
“We were excited to see how non-Hispanic viewers came to our networks and to our platforms to follow the tournament,” explained Univision Senior Vice President Marco Liceaga. “20% of our viewers were non-Hispanic, which is unprecedented for us or any other programming property.”
A TUDN spokesperson added that the number is nearly double what it was before the restart.
“Since the beginning of our Champions League relationship, we were very clear that part of our vision was to make the tournament as accessible as possible for consumers,” said Liceaga. “Out of 125 games for this season, we will put over 75 on linear [television]. We’re making it accessible for people to engage with it.”
Those games on television will be featured across UniMas, TUDN, Galavision and – later in the tournament – Univision. Games not televised will be streamed via TUDNxtra.
CBS’s streaming first strategy of CBS All Access is certainly very different when it comes to the Champions League. Regardless, TUDN’s coverage stands on its own as an in-depth way to follow many of the greatest European clubs and world footballers competing in the world’s best club soccer tournament. The sheer number of Hispanic players competing in the prestigious competition has certainly been one of the factors to Univision’s success.
“[The UEFA Champions League] and these clubs feature, for lack of a better word, the Latin American soccer heroes,” Liceaga said. “Every country in Latin America from Mexico to Argentina, their best players play in these European powerhouses. The same logic applies to the best Colombian players, the best Ecuadorian players, the best Argentinian players, etcetera. So when you have these two elements of these big clubs with the world’s best players and then you have the best players from our regions competing in the same competition, it’s a perfect recipe for relevance and interest.”
TUDN’s coverage of UEFA Champions League features European soccer legends Hristo Stoichkov and Iván Zamorano, as well as experts Marc Crosas, Tony Cherchi, Hugo Salcedo, Alejandro Berry, Jose Hernandez, Raúl Mendez, Adriana Monsalve and Lindsay Casinelli. Meanwhile, calling the action on the pitch this season will be iconic Champions League voices Luis Omar Tapia, Diego Balado, José Luis López Salido, Paco Villa and Dani Nohra, with reporter Daniel Chanona delivering live updates and analysis on location from various stadiums across Europe.
TUDN’s whip-around program Zona Fútbol returns for a second season, providing subscribers of participating TV providers the best action from concurrent Group Stage matches as it happens.
Univision/TUDN’s coverage of the 2020/21 Champions League season begins on Tuesday, October 20 (see schedule).
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