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Report: Turner Opting Out of UEFA Champions League Contract


Turner Sports has opted out of its deal with the UEFA Champions League, according to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. The decision will reportedly take effect immediately, and Turner will not show any league matches when play resumes this summer.

Turner's deal was originally set to run through next season. Univision will still retain Spanish-language rights to the UCL through 2024.

While SBJ reports that UEFA has not had any discussions with potential American media companies for the Champions League rights, CBS is viewed as the likely favorite. The network reached an agreement with UEFA (along with Univision) in November to carry Champions League matches from fall 2021 to spring 2024. The deal was reportedly worth around $150 million annually.

Other networks expected to be included are ESPN, FOX, NBC, Amazon and DAZN, per SBJ.

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Turner and Univision's current deal is roughly $100 million per year, with Turner responsible for around $60 million.

Turner's acquisition of Champions League media rights was viewed as a shock around the sports media world. Prior to its deal with UEFA, Turner had not carried any kind of soccer programming in at least 27 years.

Last week, UEFA announced its plan to complete this season's Champions League in Lisbon, Portugal, with an eight-team, single-elimination tournament held at two venues over 12 days, beginning on Aug. 12. 

The Champions League had four second-leg Round of 16 matches postponed in March at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Manchester City. Those clubs all want to host the return games on the Aug. 7-8 dates allocated, UEFA said.