2020 Champions League Final Dropped From US Broadcast TV
NEW YORK (AP) — The Champions League quarterfinals and semifinals will disappear from U.S. network and cable English-language television this summer under the new contract between UEFA and CBS, and the remainder of the 2019-20 competition will be primarily streamed.
CBS took over rights from TBS during the coronavirus pandemic break and said Wednesday the only matches it plans to televise are the round of 16 second legs of Manchester City-Real Madrid on Aug. 8 and Barcelona-Napoli the following day, plus the final on Aug. 23. They will be on the CBS Sports Network cable channel.
All other games will be available online at CBS All Access.
The tournament was halted by the pandemic in March, and UEFA reached a U.S. rights agreement with CBS through the 2023-24 season. As part of the agreement, CBS immediately took over rights from TBS, which had been slated to run through the 2020-21 season.
CBS said the decisions on the remainder of this year’s tournament were “due to the short turnaround and with the CBS television network already having previous commitments at the same time of the tournament final.”
Because of the pandemic, the quarterfinals and semifinals were changed from two legs to one-match knockouts. All games from the quarterfinals on will be at Lisbon, Portugal.
The remainder of the Europa League, UEFA’s No. 2 club tournament, will be entirely streamed.
CBS All Access is offering a one-month free trial, allowing U.S. viewers to watch matches at no cost.
Starting with the 2020-21 season, CBS said select matches will be on the main CBS network, including every Champions League final.
ESPN broadcast the Champions League with English commentary in the U.S. from 1995-96 through 2008-09, followed by Fox from 2009-10 through 2017-18.
Univision retains U.S. Spanish-language rights.