ESPN has acquired sublicense rights from Fox Sports to air select matches of the Champions League beginning this season and extending through 2018. According to ESPN’s press release, “ESPN has reached a multimedia rights sublicense agreement with FOX Sports Media Group to carry a select package of UEFA Champions League matches across ESPN media platforms starting this fall with the 2014-15 season, through the 2017-18 season.”
Fox Sports gets first choice in broadcasting matches from the playoff stage through the group stage. ESPN Deportes will now hold Spanish language rights to 72 matches throughout group and knockout stages. The deal will broaden access to the premier soccer competition in the world.
“We are delighted to have the UEFA Champions League back on ESPN. This is a great opportunity to continue engaging avid soccer fans and inviting in new ones after the unprecedented success of the World Cup in Brazil. We are pleased to work with FOX Sports to deliver the world’s most prestigious club soccer tournament and we look forward to showcasing some of the sport’s best players and most important clubs.” – Scott Guglielmino, head of programming at ESPN
The agreement also holds that ESPNFC will hold media rights to deliver complete coverage of the tournament through video highlights, analysis, and news. ESPN’s coverage of the Champions League will begin August 19th with the playoff stage and continue through the rest of the soccer season through the group stage and knockout round.