Turner has signed a three-year, multi-platform deal for U.S. rights to UEFA European soccer games beginning with the 2018-2019 season. Timed to the deal, Turner also plans to launch a new stand-alone premium sports streaming video service with a collection of UEFA matches serving as a core pillar. The OTT sports platform will debut in 2018.
Under terms of the deal, Turner will have exclusive U.S. rights for English-language coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League games, more than 340 matches per season across Turner’s linear television platforms such as TNT, TBS and TruTV, as well as digital platforms. Consumers will also be able to access games on the newly created premium OTT sports platform. Turner will use its Bleacher Report digital sports news service as the launching pad for the new platform.
“The launch of Turner’s new OTT sports platform and partnership with UEFA aligns with the company’s continued strategy to further expand the distribution ecosystem and our ongoing commitment to engage fans with premium content they crave across all platforms,” said Turner president David Levy. “These highly anticipated matches and supplemental original programming will be a key foundation for our latest direct to consumer business sports offering as well as coveted content for Bleacher Report and our leading television networks. In addition to the new audiences we’ll attract through the streaming service, the partnership will leverage the tremendous reach we have with our television networks and Bleacher Report’s position as the leading digital destination for millennial fans.”
Turner’s UEFA Champions League coverage will include four live telecasts each week throughout September to early December – Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1 PM and 3 PM ET. All other matches will be available live through the OTT platform including direct access to the premium streaming service via Bleacher Report.
All semifinal matches, along with the Champions League final, will be nationally televised on TBS or TNT. UEFA Europa League matches will also be available through the OTT platform, with the Europa League final to be televised on TBS or TNT.