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CBS launches dedicated FAST soccer channel on Paramount+ and Pluto TV

CBS Sports Golazo Network will offer live coverage and original content from key competitions.

9 March 2023 Steve McCaskill

Getty Images

  • Streaming service wants to be a destination for global soccer
  • CBS is the US broadcaster for the Uefa Champions League

US television network CBS is launching a dedicated 24-hour streaming soccer channel on its digital platforms, the Paramount+ direct-to-consumer (DTC) service, and the Pluto TV free ad-supported television (FAST) platform on 11th April.

Soccer is a core component of Paramount+, which has the US rights to the Uefa Champions League, Uefa Europa League, National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and Concacaf competitions, as well as the Argentinian, Brazilian, Italian and Scottish top flights. 

‘CBS Sports Golazo Network’ plans to build on this portfolio by creating a ‘destination’ for global soccer fans. It will broadcast a variety of live content, pre and post-game analysis, shoulder programming, highlights, analysis and interviews, including a daily flagship breakfast show ‘Morning Footy’.

“The launch of the CBS Sports Golazo Network demonstrates the continued evolution of our industry-leading soccer coverage as we build on the incredible momentum we have created the past three years delivering authentic, informative, engaging and entertaining content across multiple platforms,” said Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports.

“Led by our best-in-class studio shows and announcers, more than 2,400 live soccer matches a year and now a dedicated soccer streaming network, CBS Sports is the ultimate destination for soccer fans.”

Jeff Gerttula, executive vice president, digital, CBS Sports and CBS News and Stations, added: “Interest in soccer has never been stronger. By launching a first-of-its-kind streaming network in the US dedicated to soccer globally, CBS Sports Golazo Network provides a tremendous growth opportunity by delivering unprecedented, round-the-clock coverage for passionate soccer fans.

“CBS Sports Golazo Network capitalises on our existing soccer rights by building free audiences around CBS Sports and Pluto TV platforms while driving new subscribers and enhancing the sports experience for Paramount+.”

SportsPro says…

Soccer, which has not been a traditional battleground for US broadcasters, is now a hot property among streaming platforms. Major rights are easily available compared to more established competitions like the National Football League (NFL), more affordable, and offer a large volume of content to fill out DTC services. What’s more, US-based soccer fans are used to having to seek out their favourite sport and are willing to pay for a more comprehensive offering.

All major US sports broadcasters now have an interest in soccer. Fox has the Fifa World Cup, Peacock has the Premier League, while ESPN+ has the Bundesliga and LaLiga. Meanwhile, Apple TV is using Major League Soccer (MLS) to advance its streaming ambitions.

But while Fox and ESPN are adopting a more cautious approach when it comes to DTC sport, CBS and NBC have gone ‘all-in’, simulcasting linear coverage and building out their platforms with additional rights.

Soccer is key to this shift and CBS clearly hopes a dedicated channel will strengthen its association with the sport, while its availability on Pluto TV will bring Paramount+’s coverage to a wider audience.

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