UEFA Champions League Trophy (Christian Skye – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images )
UEFA has struck a deal with CBS, Viacom and Paramount for US TV rights to club games including the Champions League a six-year, $1.5 billion contract.
Adam Crafton of The Athletic reports on the deal, which starts in the 2024-25 season and also covers the Europa League and Europa League. Its annual value of $250 million represents a considerable increase from UEFA’s previous US broadcast package, which brought in $100 million per season.
Amazon is also bidding after securing UEFA rights in Germany, Italy and the UK, but its US efforts are currently focused on Building its NFL Thursday Night Football
packaging, per Crafton.
The new contract will be associated with changing the format of the Champions League.
From the 2024-25 season, the UCL will go from a 32-team competition to an 8-team grouping of 36 balls team, single league format. Each club will play 10 games in the first round.
The top eight teams after the first round will directly advance to the knockout rounds. Clubs ranked between 9th and 24th will play in the playoffs to secure a place in the round of 16. The rest of the teams were eliminated. The clubs eliminated from the Champions League will no longer be transferred to the Europa League.
In May, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin explained that he hoped a more “open” competition would eliminate The failed Chinese Super League and criticism of the new format was dismissed.
“It’s really open, it’s as open as possible,” Ceferin said. “No matter what you do in football, some people say you’re not doing it right. Even if you score, they say you should score with the other foot.”
Sports rights remain one of the most lucrative TV assets, as the live element represents a better opportunity for advertisers to reach viewers.
The 2022 Champions League final, featuring Real Madrid and Liverpool, drew a record 2.76 million English-speaking viewers on CBS USA. The 2021 final between Chelsea and Manchester City was watched by 2.1 million viewers on CBS.
UEFA’s contracts with CBS, Viacom and Paramount are English-only rights. According to Crafton, the U.S.-Spain rights will be sold as part of a separate package. The 2022-23 Champions League group stage will begin with a September break.