Union of European Football Associations, UEFA, has given an American company, ViacomCBS the exclusive right to stream European club competitions including the prestigious UEFA Champions League and the Europa League to its American audience.
The all-access streaming service deal which ought to commence in 2021 will now commence in August 2020 when the UEFA Champions League restarts from where the competition stopped in March. Recall that the European flagship competition had to be halted due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, UEFA announced that the UEFA Champions League would return in August in a tournament format under a controlled environment. The eight-team tournament is expected to take place in Lisbon, Portugal, and last for two weeks.
ViacomCBS will stream all the matches on all their streaming platforms in America. ViacomCBS’ deal with UEFA is expected to last until 2024. The deal also gave the American company the exclusive right to stream UEFA Super Cup and the UEFA Conference Cup in English-language.
The company would not only stream the matches on its all-access streaming service but also on its CBS broadcast network and the CBS Sports cable network.
It will start by streaming the remaining matches in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 which would commence before the commencement of the Champions League 8-team tournament itself.
Further details of the deal have not been made known but the company described the deal as a landmark acquisition. “This is a landmark acquisition for CBS as we add the world’s most popular sport to our extensive portfolio of marquee properties,” Sean McManus, CBS Sports chairman, said in a statement.
While Marc DeBevoise, Chief Digital Officer of ViacomCBS, said in a statement that, “this partnership marks a major step in our service’s expansion into exclusive sports content and we’re thrilled to deliver more than 300 UEFA matches each season”.
ViacomCBS Inc. is an American diversified multinational mass media conglomerate formed through the merger of CBS Corporation and Viacom in 2019. The company currently has streaming service deals with Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, and the National Football League.
Its All Access steaming service currently costs $5.99 per month with advertisements and $9.99 per month without ads.
Before now, AT&T Inc.’s Turner Sports owned the exclusive rights to stream UEFA club competitions in America. The company decided to opt-out of the deal in June 2019.