Paramount Wins Rights to UEFA, Including Champions League, in $1.5B Deal

Paramount Wins Rights to UEFA, Including Champions League, in $1.5B Deal

Another day, another major TV sports rights deal.

One of the most important soccer packages on the market: The U.S. rights to UEFA, including the UEFA Champions League, have found their new media partner, and it’s the same as the old partner.

Paramount, the owner of CBS and Paramount+, has won the UEFA bake-off, renewing its deal with the soccer federation through 2030. A source familiar with the talks says that the six-year deal is valued at $1.5 billion, more than 2.5 times the value of the prior deal.

And that figure just includes the English-language rights, with Spanish-language U.S. rights remaining to be sold.

A source familiar with the talks says that with the Spanish-language streaming market still so nascent (Telemundo is building out its hub on Peacock, while TelevisaUnivision having just launched its ViX+ product), the league wants to see how the market looks before committing to a long-term deal.

The six-year deal is critical, as Paramount still has two years left on the current rights agreement, giving it an eight-year runway to try and build interest from U.S. fans in the European soccer federation. It’s the longest deal that UEFA has done in the U.S.

Specific production details will come later, but UEFA games are expected to stream on Paramount’s streaming platforms, and could also appear on its linear networks as well.

UEFA, and their commercial partner Relevent Sports Group, kicked off the process last month with a request for bids. Every major media company was expected to participate, with some like NBCUniversal expected to look into both English and Spanish-language rights, and others like TelevisaUnivision or Paramount focusing on one or the other.

A source familiar with the talks says that Amazon and Paramount were the final two bidders.

“UEFA has been a key driver for Paramount+ since our launch and we are thrilled to extend this successful partnership showcasing even more world-class soccer through the 2029-30 season, building on the incredible momentum we have created the past two years,” said Sean McManus, Chairman of CBS Sports, in a statement. “UEFA is a perfect example of our differentiated strategy presenting marquee properties to drive and strengthen both our streaming and traditional linear businesses. This multiplatform approach allows us to leverage the power of Paramount Global to reach the broadest possible audience and elevate and grow the reach of UEFA in the United States. We look forward to continuing to provide soccer fans CBS Sports’ best-in class coverage that our viewers expect.”

Earlier this week another major sports rights deal was announced, with Paramount, NBC and Fox splitting he rights to the Big Ten college athletic conference.