CBS Sports have announced their lineup of talent for coverage of the UEFA Champions League. Most of the faces will be familiar to viewers for the 2022/23 season. However, there are two major changes.
Out goes Peter Drury, who is now exclusive to NBC Sports, the home of Premier League soccer in homes across the US. For the past two years, Drury commentated Champions League and Europa League matches for CBS Sports. Meanwhile, Clive Tyldesley remains as the lead commentator for UEFA coverage on CBS Sports.
Drury is replaced by Andrés Cordero, who has covered Serie A and US Men’s National Team games for CBS Sports. While not in the same league as Drury, and with a completely different commentary style, this is a big step up for Cordero.
More changes from CBS Sports
Drury’s partner for many UEFA games on CBS Sports was Jim Beglin, one of the top co-commentators in the Premier League. Beglin continues to co-commentate games for the Premier League world-feed.
Replacing Beglin is a familiar voice who will sit alongside Cordero. His co-commentator for UEFA matches is Ray Hudson, who worked with Cordero while the two were at beIN SPORTS. It’s safe to say that you can expect the team of Cordero and Hudson commentating select Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona games, for sure.
What the changes mean for CBS
There’s no doubt that Univision is the biggest competitor that faces CBS Sports. The popular broadcaster has the rights in Spanish-language to the same games as CBS. However, by hiring Cordero — a native Cuban — and partnering him with Hudson, the duo could convince some bilingual households to make the switch from TUDN to CBS Sports. At the same time, Hudson has a large following of fans who will gravitate to the games he’s calling just to hear his colorful analysis.
Meanwhile, TelevisaUnivision are siphoning off the vast majority of games that were previously shown on television and putting them on its paid streaming service, ViX+. Since launching, the new streaming service has had a difficult time acquiring subscribers. Given the circumstances, CBS Sports executives probably feel that they can continue to surpass the number of viewers that TelevisaUnivision has. For instance, CBS Sports had more viewers for the 2022 Champions League final.
Losing Peter Drury and Jim Beglin will be a blow for CBS Sports, but Univision showing fewer games on TV will be a boost.
Having said that, the first two weeks of UEFA Champions League coverage feature every single, individual game on Paramount+. The only English-language coverage of games on television will be The Golazo Show whip-around show on matchdays.
CBS lose Peter Drury, but others returning to CBS Sports
Elsewhere in its plans, CBS Sports have announced that live pre-match, halftime and post-match studio coverage will feature host Kate Abdo alongside analysts Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards. On-site reporters Peter Schmeichel, Guillem Balagué and Jules Breach will join throughout the season, and Christina Unkel will contribute to coverage as CBS Sports’ rules analyst. The show, entitled UEFA Champions League Today, will stream live on Paramount+ and air on CBS Sports Network throughout Group Stage play.
CBS Sports’ Clint Dempsey will join for the first week of Champions League coverage. Later this year, Dempsey will be a studio analyst for FOX’s World Cup coverage.
Nico Cantor will once again lead The Golazo Show, streaming live on Paramount+ and airing on CBS Sports Network during UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League match days. Cantor and Freddie Ljunberg will lead the show for UEFA Champions League each Tuesday and Wednesday, while Cantor will be joined by Lianne Sanderson, Ayo Akinwolare and Julien Laurens for UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League match days on Thursdays.
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