UEFA Champions League rights revenue by sector 2017/18

The UEFA Champions League is Europe's leading club soccer competition. With the eyes of the world glued to the matches between Europe's elite, it is no wonder that the competition generated revenue of over 1.71 billion euros in broadcasting rights in 2017/18.

Why were viewing numbers down?

Despite the competition seemingly growing year by year, the 2019 Champions League final between English Premier League sides Liverpool and Tottenham attracted around 500,000 fewer viewers in the United States than the previous year’s final. This could simply be down to the teams competing in the fixture, particularly the difference in popularity between, for example, Real Madrid and Tottenham. The number of social media followers of Real Madrid is far greater than those of Tottenham, suggesting that Real Madrid are the far more recognizable club worldwide and their participation in a game would attract more viewers. As a comparison, to show the difference between the showpiece events of soccer and American football, TV viewership of Super Bowl LIII was the lowest for more than a decade, but it was still watched by more than 98 million people in the United States.

Soccer kicking off in America

Soccer in the United States is steadily growing in popularity, helped by the performances of both the men’s and women’s national teams. The men’s side reached the knockout stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and two of their most important games at the tournament attracted TV audiences of more than 20 million viewers in the United States. The women’s national team has performed even better at international level, lifting the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 and 2019 – the number of viewers in the United States for each final was around 25 million and 14 million respectively. The success of both national teams is now having a positive impact on the domestic game in the United States: Major League Soccer (MLS) games had larger average attendances per game in 2018/19 than those in the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA).

UEFA Champions League: rights revenue by segment from 2003/04 to 2017/18

Broadcasting rightsCommercial rights
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Source

Release date

December 2018

Region

Europe

Survey time period

2003/04 to 2017/18

Special properties

includes the Super Cup

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