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CBS Has Some Wacky Plans For Its Champions League Coverage This Year

This might be the best thing for casual fans and the worst thing for hardcore fans.

There’s nothing quite like sitting down for a Champions League match: the pregame pomp and pageantry, the 90 minutes of blistering, end-to-end action, the postgame trading of shirts and collective catching of breath. But that all is coming to an end, at least for the average viewer wondering how to watch Champions League in US for 2020-2021. Some fans may love it, many will hate it — all will have to deal with it (or just watch it in Spanish yet again).

It’s become almost a yearly ritual lately for the Champions League TV rights in the U.S. to change hands or for the owner to dramatically revamp its strategy. Last year Turner Sports, in just its second season broadcasting the world’s biggest club competition, sold its rights away in the middle of the campaign to CBS, which had already acquired the rights but was set to start in 2021. 

Now CBS will start its first full season as the English-language broadcaster for the Champions League on Oct. 20. In Spanish, the Univision family of networks will once again bring us its excellent coverage.

How To Watch Champions League In US (2020-2021)

Because of some surprising decisions from the folks at CBS, simply sitting down to watch a full match won’t be as easy as you might think. For many, especially more casual fans, this will be welcome news. For more hardcore fans, this might be a frustrating change. 

CBS announced it will broadcast Champions League coverage on CBS Sports Network every match day. But instead of picking one match to air, the network will broadcast “The Golazo Show,” a whip-around show jumping around from match to match to catch all the action, all the goals throughout the group stage. Fans of the NFL’s Red Zone channel will know exactly what to expect. 

For those wanting to actually sit down and watch a match from start to finish, your only option (in English) is to pay for CBS All Access, where all matches will be available to stream. Unless you want to/can afford to pay for CBS All Access, your Champions League watching is at the whims of a producer on CBS Sports Network, at least in English. 

As wild as this whip-around coverage idea is, it’s not even that novel. TUDN did the same with its “Zona Fútbol” show last year, the difference being that the Univision family of networks still actually broadcast full matches on TV. 

How To Watch Champions League In US TV And Streaming (2020-2021)

  • TV: CBS Sports Network, Univision, TUDN, Galavisión, UniMás
  • Streaming: CBS All Access, TUDNxtra

“With multiple matches being played simultaneously across Europe, we wanted to give soccer fans a fun way to experience that excitement and see every goal from every match as well as all the key moments as they happen,” said Dan Weinberg, Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. “’The Golazo Show’ will keep fans updated throughout the day’s action with all the goals and latest results, bringing them highlights as soon as they occur while also providing expert analysis‚ all at a single destination.”

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about this decision from CBS. On the one hand, I’m glad it’ll actually be showing Champions League on CBS Sports Network, which shockingly wasn’t always the case at the tail end of the 2019-20 season. On the other, many soccer fans will be disappointed they can’t watch the ebb and flow of a single match.

It’ll be interesting to see how much fans take to this type of coverage. While it works great in sports like American football, where it’s easy to guess when a team is about to score, it could be much more difficult to pull off well in soccer, where a team can be pegged back for 20 minutes and then score on a quick counter. I’m sure casual fans will love it, but imagine being a hardcore Liverpool fan who keeps having their match against Ajax interrupted by highlights from a Bayern Munich game.

Unfortunately, CBS has no plans to show any of the early games (starting at 12:55 p.m. ET each match day) on TV. Additionally, aside from a short, 30-minute pregame from 2:30-3 p.m. ET, don’t expect much in terms of buffer programming after the match. Apparently, CBS thinks Jim Rome and Tiki + Tierney shows are more important than the world’s biggest club competition. 

The other option, of course, is to pay $5.99 per month for CBS All Access or to watch matches in Spanish. Univision, TUDN, Galavisión and UniMás will broadcast games in Spanish with TUDNxtra providing a streaming option. The best way to get these channels outside of a tradition cable subscription (does anyone still use those?) is through FuboTV, though it’s a bit pricey. 

tl;dr — How To Watch Champions League In US

CBS Sports Network will show whip-around coverage of all afternoon matches, highlighting all the action and goals. CBS All Access and Univision networks (TUDN, Galavisión, UniMás) will show full matches in English and Spanish, respectively. TUDN subscribers will also be able to stream a whip-around show in Spanish. 

How To Watch Champions League In US 2020-2021 TV Schedule

Via World Soccer Talk. (Univision has only announced schedule for first three match days as of publishing.)

Tuesday, October 20

Zenit St Petersburg vs. Brugge (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV
Dynamo Kyiv vs. Juventus (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Rennes vs. Krasnodar (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Chelsea vs. Sevilla (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Lazio vs. Dortmund (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Barcelona vs. Ferencvaros (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
PSG vs. Man United (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV
RB Leipzig vs. Istanbul Basaksehir (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)

Wednesday, October 21

RB Salzburg vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV
Real Madrid vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Bayern Munich vs. Atletico Madrid (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Inter Milan vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Olympiacos vs. Marseille (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Man City vs. Porto (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV
Ajax vs. Liverpool (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Midtjylland vs. Atalanta (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)

Tuesday, October 27

Lokotomiv Moscow vs. Bayern Munich (Champions League Group Stage), 1:55pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Inter Milan (Champions League Group Stage), 1:55pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Atletico Madrid vs. RB Salzburg (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Real Madrid (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Porto vs. Olympiacos (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Marseille vs. Man City (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Atalanta vs. Ajax (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Liverpool vs. Midtjylland (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)

Wednesday, October 28

Krasnodar vs. Chelsea (Champions League Group Stage), 1:55pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV
Istanbul Basaksehir vs. PSG (Champions League Group Stage), 1:55pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Sevilla vs. Rennes (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Brugge vs. Lazio (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Dortmund vs. Zenit (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Ferencvaros vs. Dynamo Kyiv (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, CBS All Access, TUDNxtra (in Spanish) and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Juventus vs. Barcelona (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, UniMas, TUDN, CBS All Access and fuboTV (in Spanish)
Man United vs. RB Leipzig (Champions League Group Stage), 4pm, Galavision, CBS All Access and fuboTV

Tuesday, November 3

Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Atletico Madrid (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
RB Salzburg vs. Bayern Munich (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Man City vs. Olympiacos (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Porto vs. Marseille (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Midtjylland vs. Ajax (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Atalanta vs. Liverpool (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

Wednesday, November 4

Zenit vs. Lazio (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Istanbul Basaksehir vs. Man United (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Chelsea vs. Rennes (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Sevilla vs. Krasnodar (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Brugge vs. Dortmund (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Barcelona vs. Dynamo Kyiv (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Ferencvaros vs. Juventus (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
RB Leipzig vs. PSG (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

Tuesday, November 24

Rennes vs. Chelsea (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Krasnodar vs. Sevilla (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Lazio vs. Zenit (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Dortmund vs. Brugge (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Dynamo Kyiv vs. Barcelona (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Juventus vs. Ferencvaros (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
PSG vs. RB Leipzig (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Man United vs. Istanbul Basaksehir (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

Wednesday, November 25

Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Olympiacos vs. Man City (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Bayern Munich vs. RB Salzburg (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Atletico Madrid vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Inter Milan vs. Real Madrid (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Marseille vs. Porto (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Ajax vs. Midtjylland (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Liverpool vs. Atalanta (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

Tuesday, December 1

Lokomotiv Moscow vs. RB Salzburg (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Shakhtar Donetsk vs. Real Madrid (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Atletico Madrid vs. Bayern Munich (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Inter Milan (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Marseille vs. Olympiacos (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Porto vs. Man City (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Liverpool vs. Ajax (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Atalanta vs. Midtjylland (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

Wednesday, December 2

Krasnodar vs. Rennes (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Istanbul Basaksehir vs. RB Leipzig (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Sevilla vs. Chelsea (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Dortmund vs. Lazio (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Brugge vs. Zenit (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Juventus vs. Dynamo Kyiv (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Ferencvaros vs. Barcelona (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Man United vs. PSG (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

Tuesday, December 8

Lazio vs Brugge (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Zenit vs. Dortmund (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Rennes vs. Sevilla (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Chelsea vs. Krasnodar (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Dynamo Kyiv vs. Ferencvaros (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Barcelona vs. Juventus (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
PSG vs. Istanbul Basaksehir (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
RB Leipzig vs. Man United (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

Wednesday, December 9

Ajax vs. Atalanta (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Midtjylland vs. Liverpool (Champions League Group Stage), 12:55pm, CBS All Access
Bayern Munich vs. Lokomotiv Moscow (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
RB Salzburg vs. Atletico Madrid (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Inter Milan vs. Shakhtar Donetsk (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Real Madrid vs. Borussia Monchengladbach (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Olympiacos vs. Porto (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access
Man City vs. Marseille (Champions League Group Stage), 3pm, CBS All Access

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