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CBS Sports acquires Serie A rights for next 3 seasons

CBS Sports acquires Serie A rights

CBS Sports acquires the U.S. rights to Serie A for the next three seasons, according to a report from Italy.

ESPN has the rights until the end of this 2020/21 season, but it’ll be CBS Sports and Paramount+ that will be the destination for Italian soccer for viewers in the United States beginning with the 2021/22 season this August through the end of the 2023/24 season.

The decision to award the rights to CBS Sports was made today after league officials met via videoconference to select the winner. Both ESPN and CBS Sports were very competitive through two rounds of private bids, a source told World Soccer Talk. But ultimately, it was CBS’s proposal that won over the executives from the Italian clubs.

CBS Sports have been very involved in the bidding process as we first reported last month. At that time, Executive Vice President and General Manager at CBS Sports Digital Jeffrey Gerttula told World Soccer Talk that “Our skill set [at Paramount+] is live sports. A lot of the competitors — not all of them, but most of them — [have] live sports as a key piece of the portfolio. Not only [do we have] UEFA Champions League, but all of our ‘blue chip’ rights around [American] football, golf, and college basketball are all in there [on Paramount+]. We already have a huge sports audience within CBS All Access, and that audience will be in Paramount+. And that’s why soccer is such an interesting fit for us. It continues to build off that live sports interest.”

SEE MORE: Schedule of Serie A games on US TV and streaming

Executives for ViacomCBS’s Paramount+ are taking bold moves to make the streaming service a major destination for sports fans in the United States. In addition to picking up the rights to Italy’s Serie A, Paramount+ recently added the US Men’s National Team World Cup qualifiers in addition to English-language rights to Brasileirāo and Argentina’s Primera División as well as Women’s World Cup qualifiers for the US Women’s National Team.

“Paramount+ will be the leader in live sports,” CBS Entertainment Group boss George Cheeks said recently. “We’re doubling down on soccer on Paramount+. As we look to the future, we are making soccer a core pillar of sports, exclusively available on Paramount+.”

Of course, CBS Sports and Paramount+ are also the home to UEFA Champions League, NWSL, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Conference League.

In addition to a limited 30-day free trial that ends March 31, Paramount+ is also offering an annual plan with 50% off your first year when you use promo code YEAR.


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  1. Michelangelo

    August 26, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    We need at least 2 televised matches on CBSSN a week. One Saturday game and One Sunday game.

  2. Eric

    July 28, 2021 at 12:26 am

    you must not have watched ESPN’s coverage of Serie A……very rarely was the one televised match each week the biggest match or even the biggest clubs. It wasn’t uncommon for the one match on tv each week to be Verona/Bolgona at 6:30 am on a Sunday…..

  3. Ra

    July 27, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    @Michelangelo I think you are better off sticking to RAI and using CBS for replays.

  4. Michelangelo

    July 27, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    @Mercator- A goal zone would be crucial but they must focus on all the teams of the Serie A. The U.S only focuses on the main big 3 which is Juve, Inter, and Milan. What about Napoli, Atalanta, Roma, Sassuolo and what they have achieved. CBS needs to find a way and broadcast at least one game of each club on their main CBS or CBS Networks. If this doesn’t happen you can potentially loose your viewers. It would also be great to show American fans reactions on their cub winning the match. We will see surprises and dark horses during the Serie A and this could be a huge talking point for the commentators and the Goal Zone. I know that the Champions League and the Europa League had the Goalazo Show and Serie A needs to find a way on how to replicate this very similar how Scott Hansen commentates NFL Redzone. Thank you so much for your comment and any input or suggestions you have for the Serie A on Paramount Plus. Forza Napoli!!!

  5. Mercator

    July 27, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    @Michelangelo If CBS does anything extravagant, it will be because Agnelli paid someone. I could see a goal zone, but it would just show Juve goals, over and over again.

  6. Michelangelo S

    July 27, 2021 at 3:23 pm

    For Serie A fans- We need the main at least 4 games per matchday on CBS or CBS Sports Network. This is a must due to the fact for your first year airing the Serie A you want to show your network what the Italian Serie A is all about. We also need Italian SAP broadcasting option for Native speakers and they need to work with Rai Italia to give the best broadcast possible. They also need to have the Goalazo show for the Serie A and show all the matches and all the goals on one channel for Serie A fans to really get that Sunday Italian experience. Bringing in Matteo Bonetti, Christian Vieri, and Alessandro Del Piero will really change the dynamic as well. A pre and post game is a must for the Italian Serie A to succeed on the Viacom Networks as well. They could also work with the NFL since some matches are aired on CBS as well. If they create a dynamic similar to NFL that could attract more American fans and more subscribers for Paramount as well. I know that NFL and Nickelodeon worked together and showed some playoff matches which were fantastic. They had a slime cam and some Nickelodeon characters on the field as well. It would be interesting to have some Serie A matches broadcasting like this to get some children viewers as well. Paramount Plus needs to do everything they can so they can get a steady viewership for one of the grandest leagues of all time. Grazie a tutti. Forza Napoli!!!!

  7. Miguel Tenorio

    July 11, 2021 at 12:47 am

    Gaffer: Any more news on who has the Spanish Language Rights?

    • Christopher Harris

      July 11, 2021 at 6:37 am

      Still CBS Sports and Paramount+

  8. Hans

    March 24, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    The control and granularity of the playback action can be paramount for serious supporters. Not having pause, rewind and resume and than being told to wait for the on-demand playback is very risky. On Saturday just looked at my phone messages and a news-feed and there was a big headline of the France vs Wales 6 Nations game. Hated that didn’t look for it, so you are basically being shut off from any news source until the on-demand playback appears and you start watching as the spoilers are everywhere. So I agree, pause, rewind and resume is an absolute must.
    These incompetent coders for the streaming service push more and more people into the area where these matches are provided for free less than an hour after completion. These are business morons and not sports fans so we most likely will not get a sports fan tailored service.
    This sometimes compares to the prohibition era what people want will be available one way or another. Read an article where Streaming TV IP services provided all the leagues, all the matches in one place for one fee. Will there be a Napster repeat but this time in the sports world? We would pay for this but have no support among the network suits.

  9. Nosebleed

    March 24, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    What about spanish language rights? Are those included with CBS Sports or are they separate from English language rights?

  10. Turfit

    March 24, 2021 at 11:08 am

    Sure glad CBS improved their app when they changed their name to Paramount…… oh wait, still can’t pause or rewind, never-mind.

  11. JP

    March 24, 2021 at 10:15 am

    Have seen it speculated that ESPN’s bid was joint with Discovery (Kartik’s twitter to be exact!). If true, I feel a little better about CBS winning, at least it’ll all be in one location rather than split up across providers.

    @Daniel, yes believe it includes Coppa Italia, they say it’s 75M a year and the original news had 55 million (not sure if USD or Euro) for Serie A itself, so the total amount higher with the Cup rights.

  12. Daniel

    March 24, 2021 at 10:08 am

    What about the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italia? Are the part of the Serie A package or separate?

    • Christopher Harris

      March 24, 2021 at 10:39 am

      Coppa Italia is included, yes. Not sure about Supercoppa Italia.

  13. Michael

    March 24, 2021 at 10:07 am

    @Azer. They may not be live, but they will be shown. For instance. The UCL games are shown on CBS Sports Network later that night and during the week so that you can DVR them if you want to. I would imagine that will be the same during the course of Serie A. I would imagine that Live Serie A game of the week would be Sunday Mornings early on CBSSN as they show college football and college basketball on Saturdays. I would guess that the Milan Derby or the Turnin Derby would be on CBS like NWSL games are. I am not sure why it really matters. ALL the games are on Paramount+ so it doesn’t matter what channel they are one. If they have Fiber Gigabit in your area you can’t barely tell the difference between streamed HD and broadcast HD.

  14. Azer

    March 23, 2021 at 11:46 pm

    How many Serie A games will be shown on the CBS Sports Network? Does anyone know the answer? My guess is zero. I’m sure CBS Sports will tell us the other programming on CBSSN generates more revenue for them then having the Serie A on the channel.

  15. Chris Guardiano

    March 23, 2021 at 10:48 pm

    @Anthony you are right about NBC’s commitment level to other sports besides the NFL. As a racing and NHL fan in addition to a Premier League one, I am disappointed in NBC’s coverage of both NASCAR and the NHL especially the NHL because it is always the same teams on NBCSN every week. I am glad that ESPN got half of the rights and it is likely that Fox/FS1 is going to get the other half of the NHL rights. Speaking of ESPN, this news will likely open the door for them to acquire La Liga from Bein in the next few years. La Liga will benefit from being on ESPN in that more people will be able to access the league and El Clasico would likely be on ABC which would increase the ratings.

  16. Nosferatu

    March 23, 2021 at 10:35 pm

    I’ll echo the call for DVR functions. Not being able to pause the stream on any device makes me feel like, no matter who Paramount+ has as commentators or studio analysts, they’re not truly serious about the sport. The same goes for Peacock, too, of course.

    To address Hans’s point, I think not having these functions is one thing if you’re just watching casually, but when it comes to your team, or a big game (and with the CL and EL already Paramount+ has their fair share of those), people can’t just be glued to the screen always for 45+ minutes at a time (do they think we don’t have spouses or bowel movements??).

    If these streaming services are going to be serious about their coverage–for serious fans–they need to bring in this technology since it’s been available for years now on several other services. It’s the big reason why I still prefer that games are actually on TV instead of streaming.

  17. locofooty

    March 23, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    ESPN is definitely gonna try to fill that with something. They’re gonna go for EPL or La Liga.

  18. Mercator

    March 23, 2021 at 6:45 pm

    I’m not sure how P+ can be the leader in live sports without MULTICAST. If not ESPN then I’m glad P+ got it, but I will miss having more than one Seria A game going on at once. The P+ app is no better than the CBSAA app before it. Hope they get it together by the time leagues start up after the summer.

    Looks like CBS spent about the same as the previous deal, $55m, although this does not include FA cup apparently. Really hope this means ESPN is going big for the PL.

  19. JP

    March 23, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    @Hans, yes I’m referring to pause/rewind etc. Often can’t be glued to the match for a full 90 minutes and may miss a goal or two while away for a few minutes. Always nice to be able to rewind and see them. Or if you abandon for another match because it seems over, then check the score later and see it’s tightened up, can also go back and see how it happened before watching the conclusion live.

  20. Hans

    March 23, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    Believe me they are for real. Just noticed this from business insider:
    “ViacomCBS said Monday it’s looking to raise $3 billion with two concurrent stock offerings and plans to use the combined net proceeds for general corporate purposes, including investments in streaming, following the recent launch of Paramount+.”
    There you have it a serious investment into Paramount+.
    What is this bit about DVR, just do the on Demand function and let the network do the storing. I do agree pausing and play continue would be nice. But if I missed the first 15 minutes I am just hoping it is still 0:0 and not go back to the start, just my preference.

  21. Rich

    March 23, 2021 at 5:30 pm

    @Don Dickerson That might not be ESPN’s call. They don’t show every EFL Championship match, either.

  22. Don Dickerson

    March 23, 2021 at 4:47 pm

    JP I sure hope so. I am tired of ESPN+ only showing 2 or 3 matches a week of the Eredivisie. I would expect CBS to show them all. Or if ESPN keeps it I would love for them to put all the matches on.

  23. Young M.

    March 23, 2021 at 3:43 pm

    Who will be getting the Spanish Language rights? Hope it’s TUDN.

  24. Jasinho

    March 23, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Well, the good news is at least its not DAZN. Im not a fan of their app.

    P+ desperately needs to increase their stream quality.

  25. JP

    March 23, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Eredivisie also expires end of this season. Know it’s lower profile, but that is currently my #2 most watched league on ESPN+, are they the favorite to retain the rights or is CBS looking to poach that too?

  26. Rich

    March 23, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    So…..La Liga to ESPN!?!?!?

  27. JP

    March 23, 2021 at 3:31 pm

    They better update to include DVR type controls ASAP, that alone will mitigate my response above to a simpler “meh”

  28. Eric T

    March 23, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    @Anthony The EPL might prefer NBC still because there are no other soccer leagues the network carries. They like exclusivity and broadcast channel coverage.

  29. Anthony

    March 23, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Kind of unrelated, but I have to think that NBC may no longer be the favorite to retain Premier League, at least exclusively. Paramount seems serious in its effort to build up its soccer rights, and they have the ability to show games on CBS. ESPN/Disney may want to replace Serie A. I’m sure others will bid as well. NBC may have shot itself in the foot a bit by closing NBCSN; their commitment to live sports outside of NFL seems a bit questionable right now (they haven’t renewed their NHL rights yet).

  30. Marc

    March 23, 2021 at 3:16 pm


    In the past wasn’t the Serie A & the English FA Cup in a package together? Will this be the same?

    • Christopher Harris

      March 23, 2021 at 3:18 pm

      They’re separate packages this time. Serie A sold their rights directly this time instead of through the agency IMG.

  31. CricketsJimmy

    March 23, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    Does this cover more than English language rights?

    • Christopher Harris

      March 23, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Yes, we believe so. More details will be announced soon.

  32. Eric T

    March 23, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    Interesting…hope CBS treats it well

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