When the UEFA Champions League Final between Manchester City and Inter Milan kicks off in Istanbul on Saturday, football fans from all across the globe will be watching. After all, it is the biggest club competition in the world, where fans get to watch star-studded teams compete for European glory and a place in the game's history books.
For UEFA, Europe’s football governing body, the competition’s global appeal is paying off handsomely. Over the two decade, the media and commercial rights for the Champions League have more than quintupled in value. In the 2021/22 season, UEFA made €3.1 billion from Champions League rights, up from €569 million in the 2003/04 season.
Looking at UEFA's lower-tier club competitions, the Europa League and the Conference League, highlights how far ahead the Champions League is in terms of its status and commercial appeal. Last season, UEFA's revenue from Europa League and Conference League media and commercial rights amounted to €468 million, which is just 15 percent of what the Champions League brought in.