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Coverage of Asian World Cup qualifiers begin across Paramount+

Paramount+ today announced coverage details for the start of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competitions in September, including the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar Final Round and AFC Champions League.

AFC World Cup Qualifying Final Round action begins on Thursday, Sept. 2 with every match on Paramount+. Asia’s top 12 nations will compete in 60 Final Round matches through March 2022. The top two AFC national teams in both groups will qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, with all five qualifiers to the previous World Cup in Australia, Iran, Japan, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia vying for a spot. The AFC Asian Playoff, where the third-place teams in each group will face off for a potential fifth spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will also stream live on Paramount+ in Summer 2022.

AFC Champions League Round of 16 action kicks off on Monday, Sept. 13 with eight matches on Paramount+. All 15 AFC Champions League matches through the Final in November will stream live on Paramount+.

Paramount+ will deliver more than 300 AFC club and national team matches live through 2024. Coverage will also include the AFC Women’s Asian Cup beginning in January 2022, which also serves as the qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023, while coverage of the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 begins in June 2023. Additional coverage details will be announced in advance of each respective competition.

Paramount+, a leading destination for U.S. soccer fans, features more than 2,000 live matches each year. The extensive portfolio of soccer properties includes UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League; NWSL; The Women’s Cup; Concacaf national team competitions (Men’s World Cup Qualifiers, Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, Men’s Nations League and Women’s Nations League); Italy’s Serie A; Argentina’s Liga Profesional de Fútbol; Brazil’s Campeonato Brasileirão Série A; the Scottish Professional Football League (cinch Premiership, cinch Championship and Premier Sports Cup); and Asian Football Confederation competitions (AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, AFC Champions League, AFC Women’s Asian Cup and AFC Asian Cup).

Asian World Cup qualifiers TV schedule

All times Eastern USA


FIFA World Cup Qualifying – AFC


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  1. Anita Rekdal

    September 5, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Is this service only for the US – or can we also see these games in Europe – like Norway ??

    • Christopher Harris

      September 5, 2021 at 10:44 am

      It’s U.S. only.

  2. Ra

    September 2, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    @Chris You should do a ‘blackbeard special’. Lol.. just kidding 🙂

  3. Mercator

    September 2, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    @Michael F – Yea I don’t watch baseball but I think they have it really bad – if you don’t pirate or use a VPN there are a number of teams you literally cannot pay to watch in certain markets. It’s kafkaesque to think that is good business for anyone. I think this is good news for football though – I’ve chatted with more than a few EPL fans who literally started watching football because there were no blackouts. If MLS can get rid of them, I really do think you will see real growth among casual fans happy to deal with no blackouts and 45 minutes of sport without commercials.

    @Ra – I agree, it actually annoys me and makes me think less of FUBO. I’d pay $5-10 add-on to get those games but I’m not paying for a $70 cable subscription to do so. Yes you can get it cheaper for $35 I think, but that doesn’t get me cable and that makes $35 for one set of WCQ’s too much. FUBO does not have CNN/TNT and does not have simultaneous streams out of the home from my understanding, so it’s a no go for me – the only reason I have Youtube TV is so my parents can watch and they need CNN. But Youtube TV did announce today that Bein Sports will be available via the $10 sports package (along with GolTV, FSC and NFL Redzone), which I will add and then cancel Fanatiz. But I split my YTTV 3 ways, so it’s only $25-30 for me – if they didn’t let me do that I would cancel and make my parents learn to use the IPTV. Broadcasters will do better with decent a decent product at a reasonable price – but asking people to pay $70 bucks for a few games ends up getting $0 from me. NBC gets $0 from me despite having the EPL, while I pay $5-10 bucks for Bein despite not really watching Ligue 1. I don’t show up in the EPL ratings either I’m sure.

    It’s just not sound business, unless you are an executive who needs to pump the numbers to meet bonus metrics and know you will be long gone by the time the company has to deal with the consequences of your shortsighted actions. Oh wait…

  4. Ra

    September 2, 2021 at 5:14 pm

    @Chris I know that $33 is not a lot, but I am just paying $40 in ALL my streaming news ($5 Sling, $14 Disney Combo, $6 F1TV pro, $5 Peacock, $1.67 CuriosityStream, $8.33 Paramount+, $0 HBO Max through ATT Fiber). I actually am not paying for Disney before 9/15 and I may not renew Peacock.
    Besides, the other events are all in Spanish, right? And I really dislike cable, but not as much as I dislike CBF. You should do an article on Caboclo and his myriad of sexual harassment allegations, after replacing another guy who is in Interpol’s list. Pretty sordid stories! All in the great ‘Fifa Standard’ tradition.
    In this WC qualifier round, my main interest is to see how Brazil will perform with this patchwork of a National team, without many of the internationals due to CBF’s incompetence. Especially since Argentina was able to have their EPL players for the derby.

  5. locofooty

    September 2, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    VPN is your friend for MLB and MLS blackouts 🙂

  6. Ra

    September 2, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    @Mercator Absolutely agree – case in point FuboTV with their ignominious South America WC qualifier. Should I pay $70 to watch 2 games on FuboTV ($35/game) or should I find other options? I already reached out to some people to get my alternative plans A, B, and C. If they charged me $5 I wouldn’t bother to do the same. This hedges how much they can charge.

    • Christopher Harris

      September 2, 2021 at 4:44 pm

      fuboTV is charging $32.99/month for fubo Latino which includes 15 Conmebol games – plus you get over 100 other sporting events for that from 32 channels.

  7. Michael F

    September 2, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    @Mercator. Good reply and you bring up the reality of things in your reply. And yes, I was only referring to the blackouts done in UK as here in US,… and I agree with you about the tv blackout geography is absolutely ridiculous in this country. Here in Buffalo, NY, with no Major League Baseball team… yet the Mets, Yankees, Pirates and Indians are all blacked out from MLB TV yearly subscriptions. I don’t even know any cable-like provider that carries the Pirates here in Buffalo NY, which makes that one puzzling. Oddly enough, the closest MLB team (just a 2 hour drive away) is not blacked out (ie Toronto Blue Jays).

  8. Mercator

    September 2, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    @Michael F – Appreciate the unique perspective, but my point is this will not be good business in the long run. It’s a desperate short term play to hold on to revenues that is going to undermine things in the long run because a non-insignificant amount of people will tune out or pirate. You keep thinking people will pay, and I appreciate that perspective and it certainly is true with respect to may consumers. However, in my experience as a young(er) fan, all this has done is piss off sports fans and teach them how to pirate. The comments on the Athletic article seemed to reflect that – most commentators were not paying and were either pirating, using a VPN or had given up following their team. Instead of getting people used to paying $5-10 bucks for their content every month, as ESPN+/P+ have done for football fans, stupid cable-only policies like NBC or Sinclair just teach people how to pirate or to find other hobbies. When they eventually do offer their content stand-alone for a reasonable price (and they will eventually), people still aren’t going to pay because you have pissed them off and they now know how to pirate what they want anyway. It’s a short-sighted business to abuse your customers like this – only the NFL seems bright enough to realise you have to offer people cheap and easy access to watch their team if you want to keep the game and revenues growing.

    I made the comment on the stadium and yes there are blackouts in the UK, and they are stupid as well. But none of those stadiums are publicly funded, and the blackouts have a bit more rational in the UK since it’s designed to get people to lower league matches. In the US, they blackout teams playing hundreds of miles away, it’s insane. Sky is also so expensive in the UK most people I know just pirate everything from the get go. No coincidence the EPL was happy not to put the domestic rights out for bidding again – it wouldn’t have come in higher.

  9. dave

    September 2, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    @Michael F, I am in the same boat as far as “I also love the English Premier League and many other American based sports (college and pro)”. I suspect we may have similar viewing interests that require ~10 channels that are best met by cable or its synthetics
    @Ra, your comment “The truth is that the current status quo is very convenient for a soccer fan. You can get it all, with a lot of extras, for $17/mo” resonates. The evolving landscape is very friendly for soccer fans. Perhaps some day the same will be true for all sports fans. That day is not in 2021

  10. Michael F

    September 2, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    @Ra. Good reply and I agree with what you said. And I get the streaming options today for the most part have favored the soccer fans due to the fact it’s a fringe entertainment venue in this country.
    Thanks for the suggestion on HBO/Max. I did know they have quite a classic movie library now, and have considered looking into.
    I have two things holding me back:
    1. I still watch EPL religiously via NBC and peacock (yes, I like to view the whole league’s matches)… can’t get enough of it.
    2. My 90 year old mother-in-law is tied into my u tube tv account with her own profile, to watch all her favorite programming (I.e TCM, news, documentaries etc). Yes, I try to be a good son-in-law, as it can be costly haha. But I am happy to do it as she has done plenty for my family too, so it all works out well.

  11. Michael F

    September 2, 2021 at 3:04 pm

    @Ra and @Mercator. By the way… I happen to read those recent articles from the Athletic as well on the chaotic mess of cable/broadcast/streaming divide and streaming the future.
    It’s interesting what you both choose to focus on from those articles and what you choose to omit in your commentary. Regardless of what you hope to see (i.e. an all streaming world and cable-like packages being dead and gone)… that’s NOT the reality today. We are years away from any such consideration, if it happens at all. And certainly, eventually — streaming prices will only rise to levels that will tick you and many consumers… because programming costs a lot of money and providers want to make lots of money. That’s what they are in the business for. Make money, lots of it… and are only interested in making the maximum profit. It’s really quite simple. They have all dabbled into the streaming world to reach a larger audience that typically is younger and never subscribed to cable-like subscriptions. Yes, you know that… but these providers can’t simply just do the 100% leap into streaming and expect to not lose money in the process, as they plan for the transitional phase into the streaming world. Whether you choose to believe it or not, Comcast stated they expect to lose $1.3 billion in 2021 so as to spend significantly to acquire programming. Even if it’s much less than that figure or if they are struggling to just break even, they are in the business to MAKE money, lots of it — like everyone else. It stands to reason why NBC and other providers are not so quick to dive into streaming only and abandon their linear or broadcast networks for programming. There is still lots of money to be made in these linear and broadcast network channels via ad campaigns etc – because there is still LOTS of viewership via these linear and broadcast networks. Again, it’s quite simple really, despite your distaste for those MILLIONS that continue to view linear and broadcast networks… primarily for sports of all kinds in this country. Let me be clear that I am not at all for or against cable-like subscribers or streaming subscribers because I am caught in the middle of both, like many. And if it ever does turn completely one way or another… be prepared to pay more for your programming than you want to. That’s a given.

    And btw… someone made a comment above about how Americans pay tax payer money to pay for their local sports teams stadiums and then deal with local blackouts. Um… these same local tv blackout scenarios are quite prevalent in England, I am quite certain. I had a workmate from the UK who said here in the US the EPL matches are all available to viewers, while so many are not in the UK. So it’s No different there than here with regards availability. But I will tell you (for example) that most NFL teams sell out long before the blackout deadline and so they are never blacked out. Here in Buffalo, NY, the Bills haven’t been blacked out of a game in DECADES… and the Bills have had many not-so-good years along the way. it’s a very loyal fan base, and it’s a football town.
    I am only mentioning these things for some additional perspective and knowledge, as sometimes there are different angles than the ones you are presenting.

  12. Ra

    September 2, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    @Michael F. Don’t get me wrong. From my perspective, I would only have to lose if cable crash and burn. My worst nightmare is to see the big4 bundled into streaming – it would make the cost sky-rocket. I don’t wanna see that. I saw people happy with NFL’s $105B deal. To me, it is bad for everyone – fans included – but the owners.
    The truth is that the current status quo is very convenient for a soccer fan. You can get it all, with a lot of extras, for $17/mo.
    I hear you. Btw, do you subscribe to HBO Max? You should try it for a month if you don’t. They have a hub just for Turner Classic Movies, with hundreds of options. The image quality is great and their TV shows are unparalleled.

  13. Michael F

    September 2, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    @Ra. Are you here to stir the pot and anger cable subscribers? . Listen, I don’t love cable and I have cut the traditional cable cord years ago, but do subscribe to live TV stream UTube TV that provides a cable-like package. I happen to get a lot out of this sub, despite, yes… it’s a bit pricey. I am an avid classic movie watcher so Turner Classic Movies is a must. I also love the English Premier League and many other American based sports (college and pro) so I can watch all of it.

    Just because there are cable-like subscribers out there, doesn’t mean their idiots. They happen to spend their money on something want and use. It’s like any other product you purchase in life. It’s not that complicated really.

    Sorry if it ticks you off that there are folks like me still out there that subscribe to this. It is what it is. Maybe you should get over it.

  14. Bill

    August 31, 2021 at 4:27 pm

    generally I would have zero interest in this WC qualifier for the Asian countries but since the whole thing will be in my living room thanks to Paramount I will follow it and get into these teams fighting dramatically to win a place in the WC tourney.

    Streaming for soccer/football is NOT expensive given the overwhelming amount of live fixtures we now have from all over the world.

    I will even sigh up to you tube if needed to watch the African qualifiers .

    I live paycheck to paycheck. 60yrs old, no retirement money, have to pay the bills but my son got me into soccer and I happily stream Peacock, Paramount, ESPN + to watch the big boys and the little clubs from all over the world

  15. Mercator

    August 31, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    @ Ra – I saw that article this morning, and there is a newer one as well focusing on streaming which discussed NBC’s embarrassing broadcast of the Olympics. I liked the MLB details though, really gives you a good sense for what the MLS is working with. MLS could be in a very strong position if they can consolidate all of the local rights into one platform – this appears to be what MLB wants to do but is stuck commercially. I still think people underestimate how much these terrible, often unavailable, local broadcasts reduce interest and demand. Plenty of people I know will watch an MLS game if easily available, but they certainly aren’t going to install an antenna or pay for an RSN to watch. If the MLS can be the first major US league to get this right, and get it right soon, I think there will be huge mid-long term dividends (particularly if they stick with ESPN+ which more casual sports fans will have as college football and NHL move to the platform).

    The comments on the articles are really the most insightful. Half of them are angry fans saying they just pirate at this point. It’s naïve to think piracy is not going to play a huge role in the transition of this industry, its an incredible bludgeon consumers now have against abusive and monopolistic practices by leagues and broadcasters. Football fans do not have it bad though, NBC’s nonsense and MLS blackouts aside, everything else is about as cheap and available as can be expected. Even NBC at least provides access to EPL if you will pay for cable and Peacock – a lot of these other US leagues literally refuse to take your money and there is no legal way to watch some teams and games in certain markets. Americans put up with a lot of nonsense, half of these stadiums are built with taxpayer money and then they blackout the team in the local market.

  16. Ra

    August 31, 2021 at 11:01 am

    The Athletic just released a fascinating article – “Streaming the future: what’s behind MLB’s TV blackout and direct-to-customer woes.” Very insightful, and I wonder how much the future sports landscape will change because of streaming. Most young people know better than to subscribe to cable, and they are more likely to follow sports available on streaming. This, in turn, will create a new generation of viewers with different preferences and following.
    Between concussions, ad-infested TV coverage, TV blackouts, the decline in TV ratings, some leagues are doomed to lose significant market share.
    I am a cable-never because I think that cable makes people gullible. When it first started, it had some great programming and very few ads. 10-20 years ago, I thought I was missing some good programming (sports, History channel specials, NatGeo, etc.).
    That is no longer the case, cable has turned to a more unsophisticated audience (reality shows, reruns, pseudoscience, gossip, and conspiracy theories), and the best content is today on streaming (best mini-series and tv shows, top soccer leagues, theatrical release of movies, proper documentaries and science shows).
    Every time someone says that they have cable, I keep wondering what do they like there…

  17. JP

    August 31, 2021 at 10:31 am

    I’ll also ehco Barbara, which is why the cord finally cut. During the pandemic could really see how limited the cable channels I actually watched were, and much of those was mindless reruns for background while working. Had a couple week lag where cable still in service but never used it.

    Gradually losing interest in traditional American sports and gravitating more and more towards European soccer made it even easier. Unless you’re the most ardent EPL supporter, you can do without cable and live off the couple matches a week shown on over the air NBC and Telemundo. If need more, just get Peacock. All the other Euro leagues require ZERO cable!

  18. locofooty

    August 31, 2021 at 10:21 am

    You answered your own question, Barbara. Cable has astronomical prices and they show nothing but reruns. They suck.

  19. Don Dickerson

    August 31, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Barbara – I don’t know where you get that the prices are astronomical. I for one am paying $50 (this year) for Paramount Plus as I don’t need the commercial free version. Then I pay for the HULU/DISNEY/ESPN+ bundle for $20 a month yes commercial free. So all in all yearly I am paying $290 a year. That is less than NFL Sunday Ticket for Americans who have to have the few games that are out of market.

    Now sure if I NEEDED the Premier League then the cost would sky rocket but I’m very happy with all the other leagues that I get on a daily/weekly basis.

  20. Barbara

    August 30, 2021 at 10:27 pm

    Total monopoly! The most ardent football – (Americans refer to it as soccer) – supporters, can’t afford all these streaming services — everything is gone and is going to streaming services — in addition to the astronomical cost of cable which is now showing nothing but reruns!!! Something has to give!!!!! No!?

  21. jstrummer

    August 30, 2021 at 8:03 pm

    Thanks Chris

  22. Yahya

    August 30, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    I made a phone call with paramount+ customer service to subscribe watching asian WC qulifiers 2022,but they denied having such matches.

  23. jstrummer

    August 30, 2021 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for info, looks like we’re only missing African qualifiers. Used to be Bein but looks like that’s over, you guys hear anything?

    • Christopher Harris

      August 30, 2021 at 6:41 pm

      They’re going to be on YouTube. More info tomorrow.

  24. Don Dickerson

    August 30, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    Thank you Paramount for not screwing this up like ESPN is doing with there qualifying matches.

    5 stars and I’ll be watching while I eat my breakfast.

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