Paramount+ will be the home of UEFA Champions League soccer for the rest of the decade. Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) has secured a six-year extension to stream the glitzy annual soccer tournament until the end of the 2029-30 season. The deal includes the English-language rights to the Europa League and Europa Conference League, the second and third tiers of international European club soccer competition.
The agreement is valued at over $1.5 billion, meaning that Paramount Global will pay around $250 million per year. That's a steep increase from the $100 million per year the company is currently paying, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the news. Several media companies are said to have been interested in the Champions League rights, with Paramount believed to have pipped Amazon.
The deal marks an extension of the current agreement Paramount has with UEFA, which will expire in 2024. Although some Champions League games air on Paramount-owned networks like CBS and CBS Sports Network, Paramount+ streams all of them. The service will continue to do so for another eight years.
The latest pact runs through the 2026 World Cup, which will take place in the US, Canada and Mexico and is expected to make the sport even more popular in North America. Paramount (which also has the rights to broadcast Serie A, some CONCACAF international games, the National Women's Soccer League and the Women's Super League) aired the 2022 Champions League final on CBS and drew record ratings. It was also the most-streamed soccer match ever on Paramount+.
“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,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement.