CBS Sports acquires the U.S. rights to Serie A for the next three seasons, according to a report from Italy.
ESPN has the rights until the end of this 2020/21 season, but it’ll be CBS Sports and Paramount+ that will be the destination for Italian soccer for viewers in the United States beginning with the 2021/22 season this August through the end of the 2023/24 season.
The decision to award the rights to CBS Sports was made today after league officials met via videoconference to select the winner. Both ESPN and CBS Sports were very competitive through two rounds of private bids, a source told World Soccer Talk. But ultimately, it was CBS’s proposal that won over the executives from the Italian clubs.
CBS Sports have been very involved in the bidding process as we first reported last month. At that time, Executive Vice President and General Manager at CBS Sports Digital Jeffrey Gerttula told World Soccer Talk that “Our skill set [at Paramount+] is live sports. A lot of the competitors — not all of them, but most of them — [have] live sports as a key piece of the portfolio. Not only [do we have] UEFA Champions League, but all of our ‘blue chip’ rights around [American] football, golf, and college basketball are all in there [on Paramount+]. We already have a huge sports audience within CBS All Access, and that audience will be in Paramount+. And that’s why soccer is such an interesting fit for us. It continues to build off that live sports interest.”
Executives for ViacomCBS’s Paramount+ are taking bold moves to make the streaming service a major destination for sports fans in the United States. In addition to picking up the rights to Italy’s Serie A, Paramount+ recently added the US Men’s National Team World Cup qualifiers in addition to English-language rights to Brasileirāo and Argentina’s Primera División as well as Women’s World Cup qualifiers for the US Women’s National Team.
“Paramount+ will be the leader in live sports,” CBS Entertainment Group boss George Cheeks said recently. “We’re doubling down on soccer on Paramount+. As we look to the future, we are making soccer a core pillar of sports, exclusively available on Paramount+.”
Of course, CBS Sports and Paramount+ are also the home to UEFA Champions League, NWSL, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League.
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