Having announced its UEFA Champions League Final coverage, CBS is bringing its talented cast pitchside to Wembley Stadium. Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards will do an extended two-hour pregame show at the stadium in London. It adds to the company’s conscious effort to provide more live coverage from stadiums. For example, this season, the crew was live from the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal outlasted Porto in the Champions League round of 16.

While there, Arsenal fans serenaded Thierry Henry and his legendary club career. At another point in the season, CBS sent Jamie Carragher to the Westfalenstadion to visit the Yellow Wall. With the crew expressing itself to capture the stadium’s energy, CBS has produced iconic moments.

That has led to immense success regarding CBS’s metrics. The broadcaster is reporting its social platforms received 3.5 billion views this season alone for its UEFA coverage. Carragher’s trip to Dortmund drew over half a million viewers on CBS’s YouTube channel.

Fans are tuning in to CBS for both the coverage before and after games, while the live broadcasts are the main event. CBS saw double-digit household growth, streaming minutes and average minute audience (AMA). The Champions League quarterfinal tie between Manchester City and Real Madrid, for example, grew by 25% compared to that stage in last season’s competition. Over 1.1 million people in the United States watched the last two Champions League winners battle on April 17.

All signs point to further success as CBS begins its new six-year deal with UEFA later this year. The broadcaster will have the rights to the three UEFA club competitions through the 2029/30 campaign. Consequently, viewership will continue to grow, and much of that centers around the coverage crews for the games.

Pitchside moments, playful interactions drive CBS success

Of those 3.5 billion social media views, the majority come from studio analysis and coverage. Traditionally housed in London, Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards do well to discuss the games. Still, CBS has made an effort to steer away from the drawn-out tactical look, instead opting for a far more relaxed atmosphere. That plays well into a cast of talent that understands one another.

Pete Radovich, the Senior Creative Director at CBS Sports, wanted to create a feel to the show that was authentic. In his words, he wanted it to be as European as possible, and that simply meant bringing in talent that was easily recognizable to a European audience. The shines through with the pitchside moments throughout the season.

Many of the best moments from throughout the season, and even going back several years, have been when CBS sets up shop at stadiums. The recap videos of CBS’s coverage on YouTube show less of the group’s tactical analysis and more of the entertainment side. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the visit to the Emirates earlier in the year pulled in a stunning 250-thousand viewers. That is far more than the traditional CBS Golazo YouTube channel views.

“For me, the moments that always stand out are the ones at the stadium live and in person,” Kate Abdo, the host of the coverage, said in a call with reporters. “You sacrifice certain things in terms of the level of analysis we can do. There is no touch screen, and you cannot go into the same depth. You gain so much in terms of the energy and what you transmit. You cannot help but be infected by that when you are there.”

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Wembley calling for CBS Champions League crew

The atmosphere for the UEFA Champions League Final will provide a stellar backdrop for the group’s finale of the 2023/24 season. Carragher’s connection with the Yellow Wall of Borussia Dortmund. The constant communication and involvement with Jude Bellingham. Micah Richards never shies away from a moment. Radovich and the rest of the CBS production staff will have ample opportunity to tell stories during a massive pregame and postgame show.

CBS is hosting 7.5 hours of coverage surrounding the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday. That includes a full two-hour pregame show that is pitchside from Wembley Stadium beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday. The designation for the match is two-and-a-half hours, and there is a chance it goes to penalties. Regardless, the postgame show officially starts at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Each part of CBS’s coverage is available on Paramount+. Even then, you do not need the streaming platform to watch. The first 30 minutes of the pregame show are also available on the free CBS Sports Golazo Network. The remaining 90 minutes, and the game itself, are airing on the CBS TV channel, which is free if you have an antenna. Postgame coverage at 5:30 is available on the CBS Sports Network. Again, each of those programs is also on Paramount+.

How to watch the UEFA Champions League Final on CBS

Kickoff time: 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT – Saturday, June 1
Stream now (in USA): Live on Paramount+ and CBS (via Fubo TV)
Commentators: Clive Tyldesley and Rob Green
US TV: CBS network

The CBS coverage of the UEFA Champions League will also feature special visits from NBA star Joel Embiid, Juventus icon Alessandro del Piero and Dora the Explorer, who is giving CBS more of a connection to the young audience on Paramount+.