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US broadcasters in talks to acquire Champions League rights

In the NEW episode, number 1428, Christopher Harris is joined by co-host Kartik Krishnaiyer.

In this episode, we discuss the US broadcasters in talks to acquire the rights to the UEFA Champions League, our thoughts on the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 competition so far, the challenges of watching women’s soccer at the international level, which broadcaster has elevated its coverage to become the number one soccer broadcaster in the United States, answering your questions about the MLS-Apple TV deal, and much more.

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.

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  1. greg

    July 19, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    Interesting about the UCL broker’s view that the rights are undervalued, yet broadcasters who’ve had the right say there’s only so much they can wring out in ad dollars because of UEFA’s holds on ad time. Makes me think they see the path as higher streaming fees…that crew, who were behind the International Champions Cup strike me as the kind of rich jerks who don’t get that the average person has a price point they won’t cross. If they succeed in getting the money they want, I’ll bet the result is fewer games available overall, only the top teams, and you’ve have to pay much more for it than the current Paramount+ cost.

    re: sports of free tv…I’ve been living in France now for 2+ months and have noticed a few things…while there are pay tv platforms for Ligue 1 (Canal+, RMC and Amazon) and Women’s Euros (Canal+ and RMC) the Frnech women’s matches have so far been on FR1, 2 or 3, so essentially the basic cable or free to air. Tour de France bounces between FR2 and FR3. Not sure how it will play out with the World Cup, but assume it’ll be similar to Euros…games not involving France on pay-tiers, French matches free to air.

  2. UnitedFan3478

    July 16, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    NBC will probably go after the EFL Championship, EFL Cup, and FA Cup. Because then, NBC will become the home of English Football. ESPN is the home of Spanish and German Football and Paramount+ is the home of Italian and Scottish Football. Fox will probably get the UEFA club competitions because they already have the Euro and Nations League. Unless UEFA buys back the rights from Fox and bundles the national team and club competitions and awards both to ESPN. Because Fox is ruining the National teams by sub licensing most of the games to FuboTV. Fox will probably do that to the UCL too.

  3. Buckles

    July 16, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    CBS is doing a great job with the UEFA champions league and hopefully they will win the new bidding. However, I don’t think they will. I think it’s going to Amazon or Apple TV.

    • UnitedFan3478

      July 16, 2022 at 9:00 pm

      I think Fox will win it, only because they already have the UEFA national team rights, which expires in 2028.

      • Buckles

        July 19, 2022 at 10:48 am

        I wouldn’t mind fox as long as they put a lot of games on FOX,FS1 and FS2. Whomever puts the most games on linear, that’s who I’m for. It’s not easy to jump from one game to another on streaming platforms.
        Not sure fox wants to spend that kind of money with all the money they are spending on the new NFL deal.

    • Yespage

      July 19, 2022 at 10:56 am

      My favorite part of CBS’s coverage of the Champions League was getting to wait to watch a replay for no reason at all. It wasn’t as if it were broadcast on cable/sat. So, I miss the game live because I work for a living… and then can’t watch the game until 8 or 9 PM?! Yeah… CBS is doing a wonderful job!

      • Buckles

        July 19, 2022 at 4:56 pm

        Who would you like to see get it? I think it’s going full time streaming like an Amazon or Apple TV.

  4. Cpcva

    July 16, 2022 at 8:22 am

    The anti siphoning law referred to in the US regarding sports on ota tv was unconstitutional in 1975.

  5. dave

    July 15, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you for the great content. A few reactions:
    1. I am enjoying the women’s summer tournaments but agree with you that there are too many games (especially CONMEBOL and CONCACAF) that are sparsely attended, uncompetitive, low caliber, etc. Despite those drawbacks, it is exciting that women’s soccer is growing globally and great that so many games are available in English and Spanish
    2. Per your discussion of how streaming impacts cost and access, I think most households pay for a baseline of entertainment that is functionally a fixed cost. Baseline services are very different by household which probably drives perspectives on whether a rights change is pro-access, cheaper, etc.
    3. I disagree with Kartik that FOX is driving USC-UCLA to the Big Ten. This move is about money – the Pac-12 deal is weak and USC-UCLA will cash in on Big Ten rights. USC and UCLA are big names, and their addition is projected to be accretive to existing Big Ten school revenues. Bad for tradition, bad for non-revenue sport travel and logistics, good for more football games of national interest, good for bank accounts. Happens to be good for FOX, but I believe that is just a side effect

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