GENEVA – The Champions League is staying on CBS in the United States for an additional six years with parent company Paramount paying $250 million a year to renew its prime European soccer rights through 2030, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday.
That's an increase of 250% from the previous deal, starting in the 2024-25 season when a new competition format creates a 50% increase in the number of games. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced by Champions League organizer UEFA.
The current Paramount deal is for $100 million per season for the English language rights for 2021-24.
In May, CBS drew a U.S.-record for a Champions League final broadcast in English with a 2.76 million average audience for Real Madrid’s 1-0 win over Liverpool.
The Spanish language rights in the U.S. – currently held by Univision for about $40 million per season through 2024 – have not yet been sold, the person told the AP.
The six-year deal is unusual for UEFA and its sales department, which typically offers three-year Champions League contracts.
The competition will be revamped in 2024 with 36 teams instead of the current 32 playing in a single league table instead of traditional four-team groups, before an expanded knockout round.
The format change will give Paramount and other rights holders 189 games per season starting in 2024 instead of the current 125.
It's the latest example of an American broadcaster paying more to show European soccer ahead of the U.S. hosting the 2026 World Cup with neighbors Canada and Mexico.
English Premier League rights were retained last year by NBC in a six-year deal worth more than $2.7 billion through 2028. The value of the English and Spanish language rights increased almost three-fold.
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