Paramount Pays $1.5 Billion to Renew Champions League Rights in U.S.

Paramount Global has re-upped its stateside agreement to carry UEFA Champions League matches, in a deal that is said to be worth $1.5 billion over the course of six years.

The parent company of the CBS broadcast network and the streaming service Paramount+ has signed off on a $250 million annual extension as part of an overall pact that runs from 2024 to 2030. Under the terms of its legacy deal, Paramount pays $100 million per year.

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The package does not include Spanish-language rights, which are being sold separately. Those rights are currently held by Univision.

Paramount outbid competitors from across the TV and digital landscape, a roster that includes such heavyweights as Amazon, Apple and the usual suspects at ESPN, NBC Sports and Fox Sports. Relevent Sports Group managed the auction for UEFA.

The Champions League deal comes just a day after CBS announced it had grabbed a third of the $7 billion Big Ten blockbuster, and underscores the demand for European soccer properties here in the U.S. In November, Comcast agreed to a $2.6 billion extension of its stewardship of the English Premier League, beating back bids from Paramount (then known as ViacomCBS) and Disney.

In May, CBS coverage of the Real Madrid-Liverpool Champions League final averaged 2.76 million viewers, up 23% versus the analogous match in 2021 and marking the largest audience to tune into the event here in the U.S. The match peaked at 3.24 million viewers toward the end of Real Madrid’s 1-0 victory.

The match also delivered a record 2.6 million viewers on Univision and TUDN.

While streaming figures for the final were not disclosed, Paramount+ said that the spring title tilt now stands as the most-watched soccer match since the service was launched as CBS All Access back in 2014.

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