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Champions League’s US Spanish-language rights stay with TelevisaUnivision in ‘US$225m’ deal

Three-year deal covers all Uefa club soccer competitions.

17 May 2023 Ed Dixon

Getty Images

  • Deal for 2024 to 2027 cycle brokered by Relevent Sports Group
  • US agency also handled ‘US$1.5bn’ rights extension between Uefa and Paramount
  • English and Spanish language US media rights for Uefa club competitions now worth more than double previous amount

TelevisaUnivision has landed Spanish-language rights to broadcast Uefa club soccer competitions in the US for the 2024 to 2027 cycle.

The three-year contract, which is worth US$225 million according to Sportico, includes the Uefa Champions League, Uefa Europa League and the Uefa Europa Conference League.

The deal was brokered by Relevent Sports Group after the Stephen Ross-owned agency was handed the US rights sales brief by Uefa last year. Relevent had reportedly guaranteed Uefa US$250 million for the rights in the US, which is US$100 million more than what European soccer’s governing body is guaranteed from its deals in that territory.

The new rights deal follows the six-year agreement between Paramount and Uefa for the organisation’s club competitions in the US for 2024 to 2030. That deal was also brokered by Relevent and is reportedly worth US$1.5 billion.

The TelevisaUnivision and Paramount deals mean the total value for both English and Spanish-language US media rights for Uefa’s club competitions will be worth more than two times the previous amount.

“This deal not only reflects the growing importance of European football in the US, but also the tremendous value and appeal of the Uefa club competitions globally,” said Daniel Sillman, chief executive of Relevent.

“We’re happy to be a steward for the growth of football in this country and a trusted partner for Uefa.”    

For TelevisaUnivision, the Uefa tie-up adds to a soccer portfolio in the US that includes various competitions run by Concacaf, including the Concacaf Gold Cup national team tournament and club soccer’s Concacaf Champions League. The US-based Spanish-language media giant also has a partnership with Liga MX covering exclusive rights to commercialise Mexican soccer’s elite league in the US and globally.

As well as its media rights business, Relevent owns and operates soccer properties such as the Women’s International Champions Cup (WICC) invitational club tournament. The agency also has multi-year partnerships with the Premier League and LaLiga to develop preseason tours across North America.

In addition, Spanish soccer’s LaLiga has a 15-year joint venture with Relevent, which represents the league across all of its operations in North America to help grow its brand in the region.

SportsPro says…

TelevisaUnivision has enjoyed bumper ratings for the Uefa Champions League, with the 2021/22 final between Real Madrid and Liverpool pulling in 2.6 million viewers (persons aged two or more) and 1.3 million viewers (people aged 18 to 49). Retaining the rights was a priority for the business.

Uefa, meanwhile, has been rewarded for its decision to bring in Relevent to handle the sale of its club competition rights in the US. Team Marketing previously had an exclusive sales brief with the governing body that stretched for 25 years. Uefa had the pick of four – Relevent, Team, Infront and IMG – before deciding on the Stephen Ross-owned agency.

With the US media rights for Uefa’s club competitions now worth more than two times what Team previously secured there can be no doubt that Relevent had delivered and the Champions League has become a premium property in the US market. Watch this space for increasing talk of the US hosting a major final for a Uefa club tournament during this rights cycle.

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