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Copa Libertadores coming to streaming in 2023

In the NEW episode, number 1398, Christopher Harris is joined by co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer to discuss several topics:

• Why streaming is in Copa Libertadores’ future beginning in 2023
• When the rights end with beIN SPORTS and what the future looks like for the broadcaster
• Televisa Univision joins the streaming wars
• What soccer fans need to know about Vix and Vix+
• Our thoughts on Craig Burley’s argument that the Premier League is more important than the Club World Cup
• The intricacies of Peacock, Paramount+, ESPN+ and Hulu
• Arlo White, The 2 Robbies and Tim Howard’s vanishing act during Premier League coverage
• And much more.

Plus we answer your questions in the Listener Mailbag segment.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

Launched in 2006, the World Soccer Talk Podcast is the longest running podcast on the planet. Every week, we share the latest news about watching soccer on television and streaming, in addition to discussing what we like and dislike, and featuring your questions and feedback in our Listener Mailbag segment.

HEAR MORE: Listen to our archive featuring hundreds of soccer interviews

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail, via Twitter (@worldsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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  1. Ra

    February 23, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    So in Qatar, a woman gets sentenced to 100 slashings and seven years in jail for being raped. What a barbaric society! What a s***hole! I just have new plans for the upcoming WC…boycott! I’ll skip all of it entirely and just wait for club soccer to resume.
    @WST – Did you guys write a piece on this incident?

    • Christopher Harris

      February 23, 2022 at 12:53 pm

      I’m not familiar with that case.

      We have touched on a related topic:

      • Ra

        February 23, 2022 at 1:32 pm


    • greg

      February 23, 2022 at 1:11 pm

      There’s a good discussion (WST pod maybe? with a guest or two?) to be had about the World Cup, the broader courtship of problematic Arab regimes by FIFA, UEFA, some countries and now Newcastle’s direct link, as well as UCL Final in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And before the whatabouters yell, yes, there’s plenty to question in the human rights records of the US, UK and other established nations. But at the moment the main stories are around Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia & Russia. And China if they get a World Cup.

      • greg

        February 23, 2022 at 1:12 pm

        It relates to soccer media in how broadcasters should handle it, how fans/viewers handle watching and/or attending…

  2. greg

    February 21, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    Entertaining range of topics as usual…a few thoughts…

    You can’t judge anything about Las Vegas by just looking at what’s on the strip. My understanding is that locals don’t really go there except if friends or relatives are in town. So the jerseys you see there are likely more indicative of who’s visiting. And it’s entirely possible that as with Miami (I lived there for a few years) certain weeks are heavy on people from certain countries because of tourism packages. Some weeks in South Beach were Germany weeks, some weeks were France weeks. Maybe that week was a big Mexico week, or lots of Mexicans from the LA area. Or a foreign tourist week. I doubt those were locals on the strip.

    I agree with most of the UCL v domestic title discussion, but you might be missing one part…to paraphrase Morrissey, sometimes you want the one you don’t have. So Liverpool fans, despite having won a couple of UCLs in recent times, desperately wanted an EPL title since they’d never won that, and had not won a top flight title in forever.

    In Man City’s case, I agree the fans will never discount an EPL title and are ok with not winning UCL *if* they’ve won EPL. But don’t think for a second that their ownership (who yes, are not British) desperately want UCL and Guardiola himself, while always talking up the importance of the EPL title desperately wants to win another UCL. He knows his continental legacy hinges on it. And I’d bet in a year where they don’t win EPL the fans would love a UCL title.

    Also, while Real Madrid does value the UCL much more than La Liga, it’s a mistake to say there were long fallow years for them in La Liga. The longest stretches they’ve had without winning were a year straight years each from 2009 to 2011 and 1991-1994. Other than that they win at least every other year. And they do still want to win La Liga. But ask their fans, and I’ll bet they much more want UCL glory.

    re: non-Euro club fans at the Club World Cup, they’re in tears because it’s the one shot at world recognition and to beat a Euro giant means much more to them than Chelsea fans care about beating a Brazilian or Argentine team.

    Re: college football, I disagree that the regular season doesn’t matter. Seems that if you lose more than one game, or even lose just one, you won’t have a shot at the title as you won’t get into the playoffs…even an expanded playoffs. Basketball regular season is a lot less meaningful because of conference playoffs & the bigger tournament. Who cares who won the ACC regular season title? Win the conference playoff, go deep in the NCAAs…that matters. I went to an Ivy for grad school & hate that they now do an end of season tournament to decide the title. It was a huge deal to win the title from among the regular season games.

    All that said, major college sports are a corrupt cesspool that pervert the mission of higher education. But that’s a topic for a different forum. 🙂

  3. Ra

    February 20, 2022 at 11:43 am

    The Peacock image quality is indeed better than OTA. I tuned to my next-gen NBC affiliate yesterday and the image quality was pitiful @1080i. They should do better. They are capable of doing 4k 60fps there, but they don’t seem to care. I had to open Peacock to be able to even get 60fps.

  4. Ra

    February 20, 2022 at 9:24 am

    I don’t have any issues with the headline. My only concern is if FuboTV gets the rights to it, as Conmembol already sold them their WC qualifiers. I am into streaming, but Fubo is worse than any cable IMO. Would need to resort to VPN if that is the case. It is also good to know now that it is a bad idea to go for an annual pre-paid with either SlingWorld or Fanatiz.

    • Futbol is Life

      February 20, 2022 at 9:44 pm

      @Ra, sorry if you already mentioned this before, but curious why you think Fubo is worse than cable? I switched to Fubo from DirecTV and I have to say I’m pretty happy.

      • greg

        February 21, 2022 at 1:44 pm

        I switched to Fubo from Xfinity cable (still have their wifi). Have generally been good with it…less expensive than cable even with xfinity bundled service prices. Fewer channels, yes, but I wasn’t watching but a few channels anyway. I’m bummed they don’t have Turner networks, but glad they got ESPN. DVR works fine, service rarely bonks out. I wanted BeIn originally for La Liga & Ligue 1, and keep it because I like Ligue 1.
        I’ve said this many, many times…the costs are what they are to acquire content regardless of provider. So if you need more than a few things to keep everyone in the house satisfied, you’re going to pay a minimum amount to get a range of channels in a bundled cable or streaming service. And our WST universe is not representative of the world at large, and that world has households who need not just ESPN & NBC channels, but HGTV, Lifetime & other channels. Hence bundled services, even cable, are a long time from dying,

      • Ra

        February 22, 2022 at 10:13 am

        Because of the lack of options. It would be better even than a cable channel got it because you would not only be able to watch it on Fubo but on every other ‘cable streaming’ service as well.
        But honestly, I don’t care as much. I have a plan B and C to watch the Libertadores, and plan D is not to watch at all. Subscribe to Fubo doesn’t even make it to my plan Z.
        And now they even want new customers to pay 3mo upfront. This is doomed to fail. Services usually discount the first mo just to try and get new subscribers, and there you have a player wanting people to prepaid 3mo. I bet they will revert back in no time once their new subscriber KPI plummets.

        • greg

          February 22, 2022 at 11:04 am

          You keep saying this but right here in the pricing guide (scroll down)….


          …there’s only one plan that requires it, the Latino Quarterly (and the quarterly part of the name clearly means pay quarterly). Maybe it’s the only one available where you live (not in the US?)

          And looking at my subscription page I have the option to pay quarterly if I like though oddly for no discount. Only value seems to be more screens & more DVR space.

          Other than that they all have a brief free trial period. If there’s one odd opaque thing it’s what the x-ed out rate is relative to the other rate. Legacy vs new subscriber maybe?

          Anyway, yeah…they’re not forcing new subscribers into quarterly plans.

          • Ra

            February 22, 2022 at 12:22 pm

            Yeah, I live in the US. And, no, it was not just me who heard about it.
            Apparently, it was a short-lived experiment. It was a stupid move after all:
            thestreamable com/news/fubotv-reverses-course-on-quarterly-billing-experiment

            • Turfit

              February 22, 2022 at 12:44 pm

              It was a short-lived experiment the week of the Super Bowl, I think they were concerned with a lot of people signing up just for the super bowl and canceling soon after and with their growth the past year (doubled in subscribers) they probably did not have the bandwidth for a a lot of people signing up and watching the same program at the same time.

          • dave

            February 22, 2022 at 1:38 pm

            I subscribe to fubo Latino. Though it is called “quarterly”, fubo bill me monthly and I can cancel without penalty any time before the next monthly bill. I think fubo have gone back and forth on implementation and communication a few times. A bit confusing.

  5. Bram Weiser

    February 19, 2022 at 5:03 pm

    Hello, again, Chris & Kartik.

    I enjoyed this episode of the podcast, as I usually do, but I have a bone to pick with you about it nonetheless…

    When I saw the headline, I thought that one (1) of two (2) things had happened…either I’d missed an announcement of Copa Libertadores rights for after BeInSports’s contract expires, or you were going to announce a World Soccer Talk exclusive about it during the episode. In either case, it’d be a reference to some “hard news” that supposedly had happened.

    Unfortunately, this was not what the episode was about.

    It DID discuss the Copa, and how it COULD air via streaming (at least in part) under that new contract, but it DID NOT describe this as a fait accompli.

    That means that the headline was incorrect and gave listeners (like me and, I presume, others) the wrong impression of what one would find in this episode.

    Please, in the future, be mindful of the impression that your headlines can give, and try to make them more accurate in what you’re trying to talk about, either in an article on the Website, say, or in a future episode of a podcast.

    Thanks again,
    Bram Weiser

    • Christopher Harris

      February 19, 2022 at 5:23 pm

      Hi Bram, it’s always tricky to write a headline that describes the full context of the main item we’re discussing.

      The headline could have been:
      “Copa Libertadores is coming to streaming in 2023 as part of a new deal where CONMEBOL wants broadcasters to bid on rights to both a TV and streaming package.” But as you can see, it’s hard to sum everything up succinctly.

      The headline I wrote is true. CONMEBOL has created a streaming package that will be available for bid, as well as a TV package.

      • Bram Weiser

        February 20, 2022 at 7:44 am

        Thanks for writing back, Chris.

        Of course, the headline wouldn’t need to be that long, and I appreciate the constraints that you’re working under, but it might have instead said something like, “Copa Libertadores could have a streaming component in 2023”, and I think that would have been a more accurate representation of how the topic would be presented yet still keep the verbiage limited.

        Thanks, as always, for considering the views of listeners like me.

        Bram Weiser

        • Christopher Harris

          February 20, 2022 at 9:11 am

          Hi Bram, I appreciate the feedback. I would suggest making one edit to your headline, which would be “Copa Libertadores will have a streaming component in 2023.” That much is sure.

          • Bram Weiser

            February 20, 2022 at 6:09 pm

            Thank you, Chris, and you’re welcome.

            I think that’s fair, first, because of your news, above, that indeed a broadcaster and a streamer — perhaps but not necessarily from the same company — will get rights, but also because of how common it is these days for events to air on TV while also being streamed somewhere.

            However, there are also unfortunate exceptions to this latter rule, too (e.g., Fubo getting exclusive EPL rights in Canada, for instance).

            Thanks again,
            Bram Weiser

  6. Tk

    February 18, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    I know this wasn’t discussed, but the away goals rule being abolished is interesting from the tv/streaming viewership perspective. There is a debate about the fairness of it and style of play. I don’t think this has anything to do with the decision to change it. It was about keeping viewers watching and anticipating that the “next goal” changes the immediate live result. My hypothesis would be that people are prone to turn off or fast forward the game more often when there is >1 goal lead.

    • Bobb

      February 19, 2022 at 12:00 am

      @TK I always enjoyed the away goals rule, because an entire tie could be turned on its head with one goal. When it was abolished I feared it would make for less interesting matches. So far, I have fast forwarded more games than I ever did before this season.

      • Tk

        February 20, 2022 at 11:01 am

        Your example doesn’t make any sense to me. But I hit a big snag with my hypothesis, which has to do with watching streaming service replays only (not live or DVR’d). They obviously have to tell you the time lengths of the streams. So you know if it’s going to extra time or not in a single game/2nd leg, which obviously spoils the regulation time result, causing you to more likely turn it off early or fast forward directly to extra time. This isn’t UEFA or Conmebol’s problem it’s the streaming services’ problem if they want to keep it spoiler free.

  7. Ra

    February 18, 2022 at 2:13 pm

    @JP The activity was for the Side Menu only. So, they did not go into specific sections. But I did provide feedback complaining of the bogus channels before sports as well as the current lack of a dedicated main menu for sports. Also, they did not say what or when they would implement. But based on the concepts, a side sports menu is definitely in the works.

  8. JP

    February 18, 2022 at 11:20 am

    @Ra, please tell us more about the Paramount+ redesign! Are the “live” channels of curated feeds of old programming that are available on demand anyway going away? Please say yes.

  9. locofooty

    February 18, 2022 at 9:49 am

    Excellent. Vix, ESPN+ and P+ are gonna go hard at this. Bye bye BeIN. Hoping Fubo keeps their hands off. ESPN and Univision would probably look to grab both pay/streaming packages to keep the exclusivity? Vix can be a huge player if they really want to.

  10. Ra

    February 17, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    Great pod, gents! I especially like the pods with more streaming news content.
    Some comments:
    1) Paramount+ will get a dedicated sports section soon. How do I know this? I participate in their ‘Paramount insiders’ market research platform, which I view as a more productive way to push my agenda (full DVR controls, and replays immediately available after final whistle). Anyway, they recently requested feedback on their app redesign. All the concepts that they asked to evaluate had a dedicated sports section (they already have a logo for it).
    Btw, they are also asking people to send info (pictures) of any technical issues by Feb 22. Unfortunately, I did not get any myself, but I was also unable to watch any UCL live this week.
    2) The same people who voted for Brexit consider EPL the most important tournament in the world. Go figure.
    3) Excited about Vix/Vix+ – I am not fluent in Spanish but can understand it pretty well. Always good to have options, especially considering the upcoming English UCL is still for grabs.
    4) I recently got Fanatiz to watch a tournament. Compared to it, Peacock is heaven. My, oh, my! Missing streams, audio issues, you name it. And no DVR.

  11. Mercator

    February 17, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Maybe it’s just me but ESPN+ is by far the smartest app, it always has the live match I want available as the first or second item in the home screen. I think it is able to tell the teams I generally watch, it always gives me Frankfurt/Bayern or Madrid/Barca if they are playing, always selects Anderlecht matches first as well and suggests my specific college football team in the afternoons. ESPN+ also pushes their own stuff, I’m always suggested MMA despite never watching, and is basically useless for non-live events. I don’t even bother trying to watch ESPN FC in the ESPN app, I can never find it, I just watch on Hulu (Hulu also STILL seems to get around the local blackouts, I was able to watch an in-market NHL game last week). Peacock is by far the worst – I only watch EPL and yet I always have to go to the sports tab, then scroll 3-4 times to get to the PL hub. But it is indeed 60fps so I will give it a break for now.

    Craig Burley is a saint and he is 100% right, beyond me how anyone thinks the some fifa cash grab in the middle east is seriously more important than the PL. Frankly, if the UEFA club doesn’t win it its an absolute embarrassment so I’m not surprised Chelsea screwed it up the first time. I think its CL < PL < FA < Europa < League Cup < Fifa Cup < Conference League, but that could change depending on what Arsenal win. As an Arsenal fan I would rather win the CL because its always slipped out of reach. If I were a Liverpool fan it would be the opposite and I would want the PL. Spurs haven't won anything so they are quite neutral and in my anecdotal experience most of their fans would rather win PL. City is starting to devalue the PL though. PSG can't win the CL and it exposes our the agrarian nature of the entire French league. City failing to win a single CL, but running away with the PL every other year, doesn't help the prestige of the PL. I know Chelsea just bought a CL title… but I feel like its easy to buy a league title (as City and PSG have done) and much harder to buy a CL title, so it makes it a little more valuable than it may have been in the past. The league winner is almost always the best team though, not the case at all for any of the cup competitions.

  12. dave

    February 17, 2022 at 6:28 pm

    Enjoyable episode. I especially liked the segment at the end where you discussed “Craig Burley’s argument that the Premier League is more important than the Club World Cup”
    Part of the fun of sports is we all value and enjoy different things. Soccer has so many competitions to root for year-round. We may all have our own hierarchy of what to watch and how to value results. I am aligned with Craig on this topic.
    To echo another commenter, kudos to both of you on your openness to multiple perspectives. The internet was a lot more fun when that mindset was more prevalent.

  13. Cpcva

    February 17, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    The advantage of Pluto TV is that it’s free and uncensored the South Park movie as an example.

  14. JP

    February 17, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    Will add, the only time an NHL game shows up prominently on the featured/live section is if it’s an exclusive ESPN+ produced game. The out of market feeds (which they have in greater numbers and what I’m usually watching) are buried relative to other offerings. More evidence it’s based on what they want to push, not any algorithm.

  15. JP

    February 17, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Very entertaining pod this week, listened to most of it while watching VAR gift Barcelona a ridiculous handball penalty to tie the match, ugh.

    If ESPN’s algorithm is becoming smarter, I haven’t seen it yet. Yes, I will also be bombarded on the app on Saturday mornings with Bundesliga if opening it around 9am. I will also be bombarded with multiple college sports if opening it later in the afternoon. They just show what they consider the more prominent live events at the time, and there isn’t much besides soccer on weekend morning. In every case, what I historically watch more of (Belgian League, etc) is pushed towards the very end of the ‘Live’ or ‘featured’ scroll.

    It’s even more pronounced in the evenings, where I’ve been watching at least one NHL game a night and checking out maybe 2 more going on around the same time if it’s close in the 3rd period. However, have to scroll through countless college games (usually basketball now) before finding the other NHL game I want to check out.

    The algorithm should know by now that I watch NHL and a smattering of La Liga/Belgian League/Eredivisie and virtually zero of the college sports they offer. Had the same experience this fall with the US Open (tennis version) where would have to get by 20+ college games before it got to tennis…which I had on many hours of a day through ESPN3 and ESPN+

    Paramount+ is definitely not as good of an app, but they always have Serie A as one of the top suggestions when I log in during the weekend, or UCL/EL if a weekday. So in that case, P+ seems to have the smarter algorithm. Could also be a coincidence and that’s just what they want to push, however, so won’t get too complimentary (still waiting for DVR controls on live events!).

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