Consider it a score for UEFA.
On Friday afternoon, European soccer’s governing body reportedly landed its biggest U.S. television deal ever when Turner Sports and Univision combined to agree to pay nearly $100 million per year for three years to air Champions League games in English and Spanish.
“Turner, which has not carried soccer programming of any kind for at least 27 years, was a surprise bidder and aggressively committed more than $60 million per year as part of a three-year deal that runs through the spring of 2021, largely taking over a package that Fox Sports has held for nine years,” Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reported on Friday. “Turner will be joined by Univision, which agreed to pay around $35 million per year for the Spanish-language rights, giving UEFA a haul of close to $100 million per year for the U.S. rights to the annual soccer tournament.”
World Soccer Talk’s Christopher Harris reported the same figures on Friday, describing the bidding process “very competitive.”
While there are conflicting reports as to whether ESPN made a bid (Ourand’s sources said no, while Harris’s said yes), both reports said Fox Sports, which currently pays around $50 million per year for both the English- and Spanish-language rights made a bid, but fell short.
Ourand adds NBC, as well as BAMTech, the technology company spun off from MLB Advanced Media, also submitted bids.
No company would go on record to discuss the bidding process.
Turner Sports, Univision and UEFA also did not offer any comment on Friday.