Published December 6, 2013
Fox Sports has emerged as the likely winner of UEFA Champions League rights, according to several sources. A decision could be announced as early as today by UEFA, which was considering bids from Fox, NBC Sports Group, Univision and beIN Sport. ESPN did not submit a bid for the rights, though sources said the company would look into sublicensing some of the games from the winner. UEFA accepted bids from the networks on Tuesday. Because the first bids were much lower than the $100M per year it was expecting, UEFA completed a second round of bidding yesterday. Sources said UEFA opted to pick Fox' bid, which still fell substantially short of $100M per year. Sources said Fox' bid is significantly below the $83M per year NBC Sports pays for EPL rights. Fox, which holds the current Champions League rights, will keep the English- and Spanish-language rights as part of a three-year deal that starts in the '15-16 season. Fox plans to use the Champions League programming to help promote the FIFA World Cup, which Fox will carry in '18 and '22. Last season, the 17 Champions League games across Fox Soccer, FX and Fox averaged 334,000 viewers.