CBS Sports has revealed some impressive viewership statistics from Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Arsenal faced off against Bayern Munich and Manchester City played Real Madrid on the day in their quests to advance on to the semifinals. Because the clubs in both fixtures entered the day level in the tie, there was extra pressure during the return legs of the quarterfinals.

Bayern edged Arsenal on Wednesday by a score of 1-0 to continue on in the competition. Both legs of the matchup were tightly fought throughout the 180 minutes. The two sides battled back and forth, but the veteran Bayern team eventually advanced due to a lone goal by Joshua Kimmich.

The City and Real game, however, was even more tense. In fact, the two teams had to go to penalties to ultimately decide the winner.

The Spanish side did, however, beat the reigning European winners in the shootout. Antonio Rudiger converted the game-winning spot kick, while backup goalkeeper Andriy Lunin managed to stop two of City’s shots.

City-Real matchup helps CBS Sports earn historic viewership

Due to the dramatic moments, CBS Sports announced that the matches were the two most-watched Champions League quarterfinals ever on U.S. television. The fixtures were also aided by the popularity of the quartet of clubs as well. A recent report claimed that City, Real, and Arsenal are among the most popular soccer teams in the United States. The trio was all inside the top seven of the rankings.

The matchup between City and Real recorded 1.11 million viewers on the day. This is now the most-watched UEFA Champions League quarterfinal game in American broadcasting history. These figures were up 25% in relation to last season’s matches at the same stage of the competition. Viewership of the tense fixture peaked at 1.58 million people.

Paramount+ is currently the English-language home of the Champions League here in the United States. According to CBS Sports, the streaming service recorded its most-streamed day of soccer on Wednesday as well. This is particularly impressive given only two matches were broadcast that day. The City-Real fixture saw double-digit growth in both households and streaming minutes compared to the 2023 Champions League Final.

CBS Sports to have UCL broadcasting rights until at least 2030

With the quarterfinals grabbing huge ratings, CBS Sports will look for the trend to continue into the semifinals. Real will next face Bayern Munich in a mouthwatering matchup. The teams are historically two of the top performers in the competition’s history.

Paris Saint-Germain versus Borussia Dortmund rounds out the other semifinal fixture. The French side previously stunned Barcelona in Spain to advance in the competition. Dortmund, on the other hand, fought off a tough Atletico Madrid side in the quarterfinals.

CBS Sports has held exclusive American broadcasting rights to UEFA’s competitions since 2020. The original deal was set to expire after the current campaign. Nevertheless, the massive media company extended their agreement to air Champions League, Europa, and Conference League matches until 2030. The six-year deal was quite unique as UEFA typically only offers three-year contracts in most cases.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Sportsphoto.