When the UEFA Champions League group stage kicks off today, football fans from all across the globe will be tuning in. After all, it is the biggest club competition in the world, where fans get to watch star-studded teams such as Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain face off for European glory.
For UEFA, Europe’s football governing body, the competition’s global appeal is paying off big time. Over the past 14 years, the broadcasting rights for the Champions League have more than tripled in value. In the 2016/17 season, UEFA made $1.7 billion selling the broadcasting rights, up from just $451 million in the 2003/04 season.
As our chart illustrates, the Europa League, UEFA’s second-tier competition, is no match for the Champions League financially.