CBS acquires Champions League broadcast rights two years early after Turner Sports bails on UEFA

It was already known that CBS would start broadcasting the UEFA Champions League, but the timing has reportedly changed.

CBS has acquired the U.S. broadcasting rights for the Champions League and Europa League and will begin broadcasts this Friday, according to World Soccer Talk.

CBS was already in line to take over the UEFA rights starting in 2021-22 through 2023-24, but those rights went up for grabs when Turner Sports bailed from its deal with UEFA with a full season still remaining on its contract.

UEFA’s new partner will reportedly start its coverage of the league by broadcasting the Champions League and Europa League draws this Friday on CBS Sports HQ and streaming service CBS All Access. All games are reportedly expected to be streamed live through CBS All Access, and no final decision has been made on broadcasting 2020 UEFA Champions League games.

CBS also acquired the rights for NWSL games earlier this year, as the company tries to give its CBS All Access a boost with live sports in the increasingly crowded world of streaming services.

The 2019-20 Champions League is set to be completed in the form of a single-elimination knockout tournament in Lisbon, Portugal, in August after the coronavirus pandemic shut down play.

LYON, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 26: View of the Adidas UCL Finale match ball during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Olympique Lyon and Juventus at Parc Olympique on February 26, 2020 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
The UEFA Champions League is moving to a new streaming service. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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