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Volume 26 No. 228
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Sources: CBS Starting Early With UEFA Champions League

CBS has picked up the rights to carry UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League a couple of years early as the two sides inch closer to a deal,. CBS and UEFA finished negotiations this week to carry this year’s event -- a single-elimination tournament in Portugal next month -- as well as the 2020-21 tournament. UEFA has not negotiated with other media companies in the three weeks since Turner Sports opted out of its contract two years early. CBS All Access and CBS Sports will be the exclusive English-language home for these events.

Specific details on how much CBS will pay and where it will carry the games are scarce. Turner was in the second year of a three-year deal where it paid more than $60 million annually. Univision pays around $40 million for the Spanish-language rights to the UCL. UEFA has been under the gun to find a U.S. broadcaster to carry next month’s tournament. On Friday, it will hold a draw to determine the quarterfinals from its HQ in Switzerland. CBS will carry the draw via its All Access and Sports HQ streaming platforms.

Turner opted out of its deal last month for a variety of reasons. This year’s tournament suffered through a prolonged stoppage because of the pandemic. Turner was also already operating as a lame duck, given that CBS takes over in the fall of 2021. Plus, Turner originally cut its UEFA deal in 2017 as a way to build up its streaming service B/R Live. It has since folded B/R Live into the Bleacher Report app.