Champions League Round Of 16 TV Schedule Features A Massive, Pleasant Surprise

Christmas has come early because CBS is actually going to show the Champions League on CBS next year.

Soccer fans across the U.S. have often complained about big TV networks buying up the rights to major competitions only to hide them behind the additional pay walls of streaming services. All four major networks in the country have, at some point, been guilty of this in the last few years. So let’s give credit where credit’s due as CBS announced the 2022 Champions League Round of 16 TV schedule on Monday, including matches on CBS on six of eight match days.

The first and second legs of PSG-Real Madrid and Liverpool-Inter Milan will all be on CBS, with the first legs of Chelsea-Lille and Atlético Madrid-Manchester United also making it on the big broadcast network from Feb. 15 to March 9. That still leaves a most matches that require a Paramount+ subscription, but airing Round of 16 Champions League matches on over-the-air CBS is massive for soccer in this country. 

Previously, CBS has mostly ignored the Champions League, refusing to air any matches on its cable network CBSSN so far this season. While CBSSN’s whip-around coverage (the horribly named Golazo Show) provided pretty good coverage of the group stage (at the cost of not airing any actual games start to finish), the show will not continue through the knockout rounds, when two matches are played simultaneously. Instead, Paramount+ will be the only place to find English broadcasts of the other 10 matches not on CBS.

The fact we’re getting matches on CBS at all is a pleasant surprise considering the network didn’t even put the Champions League final on CBS in 2020 (the final was on CBS in 2021). Plus, all matches on CBS will include hour-long pregame shows on CBS. (All postgame shows will be on CBSSN and Paramount+.)

Why is this happening now? I think the obvious answer is not that CBS is realizing soccer is the future (let’s be real, the NFL still dominates U.S. TV ratings), but that CBS is trying desperately to compete with NBC’s offerings in February. NBC has exclusive rights to the 2022 Winter Olympics, which run from Feb. 4-20. The Champions League is the easiest, most direct way for CBS to compete with the Beijing Olympics. 

No American network is going to get massive ratings airing Champions League matches at 3 in the afternoon, but CBS probably hopes anyone turning the TV on looking for the Winter Olympics gets distracted and decides instead to watch a sport that they actually know how to play. Don’t get me wrong, the Winter Games are fun, but if you’re looking for thrilling competition, I think most sports fans would rather watch soccer than a bunch of people with rifles going cross-country skiing. Either way, Champions League soccer sure as hell beats Judge Judy, Dr. Phil or whatever daytime TV CBS usually airs.

Below is the full 2022 Champions League Round of 16 TV schedule as it currently stands, which hopefully won’t need a third redraw

2022 Champions League Round of 16 TV Schedule

All Times ET, Courtesy CBS Sports

Tuesday, Feb. 15:

  • UEFA Champions League Today 2:00 PM-3:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid 3:00 PM-5:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Sporting Lisbon vs. Manchester City 3:00 PM-5:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 5:00 PM-6:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+  

Wednesday, Feb. 16:  

  • UEFA Champions League Today 2:00 PM-3:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Inter Milan vs. Liverpool 3:00 PM-5:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich 3:00 PM-5:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 5:00 PM-6:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+  

Tuesday, Feb. 22:  

  • UEFA Champions League Today 2:00 PM-3:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Chelsea vs. LOSC Lille 3:00 PM-5:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Villarreal vs. Juventus 3:00 PM-5:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 5:00 PM-6:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+  

 

Wednesday, Feb. 23:  

  • UEFA Champions League Today 2:00 PM-3:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Atlético de Madrid vs. Manchester United 3:00 PM-5:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Benfica vs. Ajax 3:00 PM-5:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 5:00 PM-6:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+  

 

Tuesday, March 8:  

  • UEFA Champions League Today 2:00 PM-3:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Liverpool vs. Inter Milan 3:00 PM-5:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Bayern Munich vs. RB Salzburg 3:00 PM-5:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 5:00 PM-6:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+  

Wednesday, March 9:  

  • UEFA Champions League Today 2:00 PM-3:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Real Madrid vs. Paris Saint-Germain 3:00 PM-5:00 PM CBS/Paramount+  
  • Manchester City vs. Sporting Lisbon 3:00 PM-5:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 5:00 PM-6:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+  

 

Tuesday, March 15:  

  • UEFA Champions League Today 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Paramount+  
  • Manchester United vs. Atlético de Madrid 4:00 PM-6:00 PM Paramount+  
  • Ajax vs. Benfica 4:00 PM-6:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 6:00 PM-7:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+  

 

Wednesday, March 16:  

  • UEFA Champions League Today 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Paramount+  
  • LOSC Lille vs. Chelsea 4:00 PM-6:00 PM Paramount+  
  • Juventus vs. Villarreal 4:00 PM-6:00 PM Paramount+  
  • UEFA Champions League Post-Match Show 6:00 PM-7:00 PM CBS Sports Network/Paramount+

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