On the day FIFA held the draw for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, news began to surface that Fox Sports has retained the rights to next cycle of UEFA Champions League rights in the U.S.
According to sources familiar with the negotiations, Fox will keep both English- and Spanish-language rights to the Champions Leeague for three campaigns, beginning with the 2015-16 season.
The deal, which could involve some sublicensing, could be announced as early as today.
Fox declined comment.
In addition to Fox, NBC Sports Group, Univision and BeIn Sport all made bids, according to Sports Business Daily. ESPN evidently did not. The worldwide leader on Friday afternoon said it had “no comment as the process is ongoing.”
The renewal would be a key move for Fox. Flanking its acquisition of rights to Germany’s Bundesliga for five years, kicking off with the 2015-16 season, and a deal with UEFA for qualifying matches for Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, half of the inventory for which will be passed to ESPN, Fox’s new Champions League gambit would certainly give it a full plate of futbol fare for Fox Sports 1 and Fox Soccer Plus ahead of its coverage of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.
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