Find out where, when, and how to watch the giants of European soccer with our Champions League TV schedule.

In the United States, CBS Sports have the exclusive English-language rights to broadcast UEFA Champions League games. This also includes UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup until the end of the 2029/30 season. Coverage from the Group Stage all the way through to the final every year to determine who will be crowned UEFA champions will continue through the rest of the decade.

Spanish-language rights have been acquired by Univision Deportes (TUDN), which will run until the end of the 2026/27 season.

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Champions League TV schedule

All times Eastern.

For the Champions League schedule, every single game of the super league will be streamed exclusively through the streaming service Paramount+, which offers a 7-day free trial. Read our Paramount+ FAQ for more info. Very few games will air on TV via CBS and/or CBS Sports Network.

An alternative is to consider watching Champions League games on Univision/TUDN where many of the games will be shown on television in Spanish, which are streamed via Fubo.

Annual Champions League Schedule

Preliminary rounds begin in July while playoff rounds of the tournament are in August. The group stages of the competition are played from September through December. Round of 16 games are played during February-March, quarter-finals in April, semi-finals in late April and May, while the final is at the end of May.

UCL on American TV, from past to present

An average of 2.1 million fans watched the 2023 Final between Manchester City and Inter Milan on CBS in the United States.

The Champions League started out on US TV in the late 1990s on ESPN. During the mid-2000s on ESPN is really when the competition began to become somewhat of a phenomenon in the US for the first time. By 2010 broadcasts shifted to FOX Sports, where UCL games in English would remain for nearly a decade.

In 2018, coverage moved to Turner Sports. English broadcasts on TNT and Bleacher Report Live were not particularly well received, similar to FOX’s tenure with the competition. However Turner’s viewership figures ended up much higher than FOX Sports due to better distribution for their networks.

Meanwhile Univision acquired the Spanish rights, which has proven to be a popular move.

CBS surprisingly swooped in to secure English-language UEFA club competition rights from 2021-24. Comprehensive coverage of games, across Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, and the main CBS Network, have generally been received positively.

Both the CBS and Univision deals have since been extended (through 2029/30 and 2026/27, respectively).

Champions League History

Midway through the twentieth century, the Champions League‘s history began. In 1930, Swiss club Servette attempted to establish a competition for the continent’s best clubs by fielding a national champions’ team.

Champion teams from the ten most powerful European soccer countries of the time were invited to compete in a competition known as “Coupe des Nations,” which was a huge success. Hungarian club Ujpest won the championship, but despite the tournament’s popularity, it was never held again owing to funding constraints.

Then almost two decades later, a precursor to the Copa Libertadores, the Campeonato Sudamericano de Campeones (South American Championship of Champions) began play in 1948 following years of planning and preparation. The notion of a continental club champions league only captivated French sports writer Jacques Ferran.

Thus, the European Football Association’s official history of the European Cup credits Jacques Ferran and Gabriel Hanot, writers for the French sports daily L’Équipe, as the tournament’s original creators. Hanot had a dream that was realized in 1955 when he saw the first European Cup play.

Meanwhile, Ferran revealed that the South American Championship of Champions provided the impetus for the creation of the European Cup in interviews with the Brazilian sports TV show Globo Esporte in 2015 and the Chilean daily El Mercurio in 2018. “How could Europe, which wanted to be ahead of the rest of the world, not be able to accomplish a competition of the same kind as the South American one? We needed to follow that example,” he said.

How did the European Cup come to be?

In April of 1955, officials from Europe’s top clubs got together to draft competitive guidelines. Game one of the inaugural UEFA Champions League, featuring Sporting Club de Lisbon and FK Partizan, has begun. The name “UEFA Champions League” did not appear until much later. The European Champion Clubs’ Cup or European Cup has been the name of this competition from its inception.

The first event included the best clubs in Europe, and Real Madrid came out on top. This event marked the beginning of a tournament that would come to stand as a benchmark for success and a showcase for thrilling contests.

Early editions of the European Cup used a knockout-style bracket that matched together national champions from different countries. Real Madrid, led by legends like Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas, established early dominance and won the championship five times in a row between 1956 and 1960. It was not until the 1960s, however, that the event was open to more than just the national winners.

Becoming the ‘UEFA Champions League’

The 1992 rebranding to the UEFA Champions League was a watershed moment for the event. Many people see the Champions League’s use of groups instead of a round-robin structure as what sets it apart from the European Cup.

The group stage increased the competition’s competitiveness and gave more teams from around Europe a chance to participate. This broadened the Champions League’s field of participants and paved the way for it to become a worldwide phenomenon.

However, a group stage was implemented in 1991; the name change only formalized the reorganization. The format of the tournament has evolved to include elements of both group play and round-robin play.

UEFA Champions League: 21st century and modern history

During the ’90s and ’00s, the Champions League schedule saw unparalleled levels of acclaim. The introduction of satellite television and other technological developments helped spread the game over the world. The competition was watched by people throughout the globe, not only in Europe. Because of this increase in attention, the Champions League has received significant commercial investment. This has turned it into a successful business with attractive sponsorship agreements and media contracts.

In the minds of soccer fans everywhere, the UEFA Champions League produces legendary occasions. The 2005 final between Liverpool and AC Milan and Manchester United‘s last-minute heroics against Bayern Munich in 1999 are just a few instances. These moments embody the raw passion, unpredictability and absolute brilliance that constitute the core of the event.

Teams and styles emerge

Soccer ideologies and tactical advancements have all met in Champions League games. The tournament showcased emerging playing styles as they became commonplace. In the 1990s, defense dominated as Italian teams controlled Europe. In the mid-2000s, Barcelona showed tiki-taka can beat the best teams with ease. Roberto Baggio’s dominant AC Milan side of the late 1980s and Pep Guardiola’s 2009-11 Barcelona epitomize these elite squads in the history of the UEFA Champions League.

Contemporary dynasties emerged in European soccer around the start of the 21st century. Real Madrid’s Galacticos era made long-term dominance by teams like Barcelona and Bayern possible. Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldo exemplified the wave of talent from across the world coming together on one team. However, that Real Madrid side never achieved what became the greatest feat for any club. The best teams of all time won the treble, a collection of three trophies in one season. Those trophies are the domestic league, domestic cup and the UEFA Champions League. Manchester City accomplished this most recently in 2022/23.

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