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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

U.S. Champions League Rights Expected to ‘Double’ Current Deal

  • UEFA and the ECA are beginning to solicit bids for U.S. rights to the Champions League.
  • The rights are expected to go for more than double their current price.
Champions-League
UEFA Champions League

UEFA and the European Club Association announced the start of a media rights tender process for U.S. rights to the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and Conference League until Aug. 15.

The rights to the Champions League — which is expanding from 32 to 36 teams — are expected to go for “north of double” their current price, a source familiar with the deal told Front Office Sports.

For the first time, companies can bid on the rights for up to six years, and the deal could fetch more than $2 billion.

  • In the Champions League’s current agreement, Paramount and Univision roughly pay an annual $145 million combined for the current rights, with the former paying more.
  • This year’s Champions League Final brought in 5.36 million viewers — making it the most-watched title game in U.S. history.
  • UEFA’s push to reach American audiences aligns with the 2026 World Cup, which will take place across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

Along with Univision and Paramount Global’s CBS, NBC, ESPN, Amazon, Apple, Fox, Warner Bros., and DAZN have all reportedly held preliminary discussions with UEFA regarding the rights.

Relevent’s Promise

Relevent Sports Group is running the bidding process. Co-founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, Relevent beat out Octagon and Endeavor’s IMG to broker UEFA’s U.S. media deals by promising to fetch at least $250 million annually

The company recently sold La Liga’s media rights to ESPN in an eight-year, $1.4 billion deal.

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