Soccer

CBS Embarks Early on Handling USA’s Champions League Broadcast Rights

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The pandemic-enforced changes to the Champions League presented the perfect format for CBS to find to broadcast European soccer’s showpiece competition earlier than planned in the United States.

Rather than the usual home-and-away series for the quarterfinals and semifinals, UEFA has adopted a rapid two-week, eight-team knockout tournament in Lisbon, Portugal, culminating in the Aug. 23 final.

“It’s a phenomenal format for us in the U.S. to do it this way,” ViacomCBS chief digital officer Marc DeBevoise told The Associated Press. “A single elimination tournament is something these audiences fully understand. Obviously, there are big soccer fans but March Madness having been effectively canceled, I think people are hungry for things like this.”

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