AP source: CBS to air Champions League in US starting in '21

JOE REEDY (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press

A person familiar with the negotiations says Champions League broadcasts in the U.S. will move from Turner to CBS beginning with the 2021-22 season.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the agreement has not been announced by UEFA, European soccer's governing body. The three-year deal will begin in August 2021.

Turner is in its second season airing the Champions League on TNT, but most of the matches through the round of 16 are on Bleacher Report's streaming package.

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Univision will retain the U.S. rights for Spanish-language broadcasts. CBS and Univision will pay $140 million a season, an increase from the $100 million in the current Turner/Univision deal.

This is the first soccer property that CBS has landed. The Premier League is on NBC while Fox has the FIFA World Cup and FIFA Women's World Cup. Fox and ESPN also broadcast Major League Soccer. Sunday's MLS Cup final between Toronto and Seattle will air on ABC for the first time since 2008.

CBS will also air games on its cable sports channel and its CBS All Access streaming service.

The Champions League final will return to network television under the deal. Fox held the rights from 2010 through '18 before losing them to Turner. ESPN was the first to bring Champions League matches to the U.S., airing them from 1995 until 2009.

Last year's final between Liverpool and Tottenham averaged 1.508 million viewers on TNT. The total was down from the 2.004 million that watched the 2018 final on Fox.

Sports Business Journal was the first to report on CBS acquiring the rights.


AP Global Soccer Writer Rob Harris contributed to this report.


More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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