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CBS confirms Uefa Champions League deal, will stream all games on ‘All Access’

CBS’s acting chief executive Joe Ianniello has confirmed in a quarterly earnings call that the US broadcaster has secured the English-language rights to the Uefa Champions League from the 2021-22 season through 2023-24.

As was reported late last week, CBS and the Spanish-language Univision will pay between $140m (€136m) and $150m a season for the combined rights, an increase on the $105m-a-year deal paid by current rights-holders Turner and Univision.

The Champions League is the first major soccer property that CBS has landed since it aired the original North American Soccer League in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as the 1974 World Cup.

Ianniello added more details to the arrangement by revealing that all games will be streamed on the ‘CBS All Access’ subscription service, with select games on linear television. “Soccer fans know these rights represent some of the most prestigious and popular soccer tournaments in the world, so we couldn’t be more pleased that we’ve won this hotly contested process,” he said.

Ianneillo believes that securing the prestigious European club tournament will boost subscription numbers for ‘All Access’, which costs $5.99 a month, or $9.99 for a commercial free option. “There are loyal fans. It is obviously the most popular sport in the world,” he said.

It was also confirmed that CBS had won the rights to the Europa League, and the newly-created European Conference League as well.