CBS’ subscription streaming service CBS All Access will carry the UEFA Women’s Champions League season-ending tournament that kicks off Friday in Spain, a source with knowledge of the deal told The Inquirer.
As with the men’s Champions League and Europa League, this season’s women’s Champions League campaign is ending with a neutral-site tournament. Games are set for two venues in Spain’s Basque region, the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao, and the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastián.
The tournament begins with the quarterfinals that kick off Friday. Perennial German powerhouse VfL Wolfsburg plays Scottish underdog Glasgow City in San Sebastián, and Spanish powerhouses Atlético Madrid and Barcelona meet in Bilbao. Both games are at noon ET.
Saturday’s quarterfinals are both star-studded. England’s Arsenal plays France’s Paris Saint-Germain in San Sebastián, and France’s Lyon – the four-time reigning champion – goes against Germany’s Bayern Munich, both at 2 p.m. Unlike in the men’s tournament, Lyon is the big favorite this time.
The semifinals are next Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 25 and 26, in San Sebastián, both at 2 p.m. The final is Aug. 30 in Bilbao at 2 p.m.
Although CBS All Access will be the easiest way for most fans to watch the games, it won’t be the only way for all the games except the final. Women’s Champions League broadcast rights for all games except the final are held by each club, not UEFA. So some of the teams will broadcast the games through their own platforms, such as Wolfsburg’s YouTube page. Most of those broadcasts won’t be in English, but at least they’ll be available.
The final will be exclusively on All Access because UEFA handles the rights for that game.
Before CBS’ announcement, some fans noticed that UEFA will broadcast the games through its own free streaming platform, UEFA.tv. That was going to be the outlet for U.S. fans until CBS’ deal got done. (Those same fans have spent the last week-plus asking CBS to carry the games on All Access, so hopefully they won’t complain too much now about the change.)
Games will be the UEFA world feed, and there won’t be any studio programming around the games. But CBS’ existing UEFA studio shows won’t stay away from the subject, as viewers saw Wednesday afternoon during the Champions League pregame show. Studio host Kate Abdo had a lively discussion with analyst Alex Scott and Delran-born U.S. star Carli Lloyd about the women’s tournament, especially Lyon’s dynasty.
The deal is only for this season, and you might want to get your hopes too far up about next season yet. UEFA has a plan in place to centralize the women’s Champions League’s broadcast rights, but it won’t take effect until 2021.
CBS All Access costs $6 a month or $60 a year, with more expensive plans that have no ads. There’s a free trial for the month of August going on now that includes all of this summer’s UEFA tournaments.
Here is the UEFA Women’s Champions League tournament schedule:
Friday, Aug. 21: Atlético Madrid vs. Barcelona, 12 p.m.; Glasgow City vs. VfL Wolfsburg, 12 p.m. (Quarterfinals)
Saturday, Aug. 22: Arsenal vs. Paris Saint-Germain, 2 p.m.; Lyon vs. Bayern Munich, 2 p.m. (Quarterfinals)
Tuesday, Aug. 25: Atlético-Barcelona winner vs. Glasgow-Wolfsburg winner, 2 p.m. (Semifinal)
Wednesday, Aug. 26: Arsenal-PSG winner vs. Lyon-Bayern winner, 2 p.m. (Semifinal)
Sunday, Aug. 30: Final
Players to know:
Arsenal: GK Lydia Williams (Australia, ex-Reign FC); D Steph Catley (Australia, ex-Reign FC); Ms Daniëlle van de Donk (Netherlands), Kim Little (Scotland, ex-Reign FC), Jordan Nobbs (England); Fs Caitlin Foord (Australia, ex-Portland Thorns), Beth Mead (England), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)
Atlético Madrid: GK Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden); Ds Kylie Strom (Endicott, N.Y.), Aissatou Tounkara (France); Ms Jade Moore (England, on loan from Orlando Pride), Amanda Sampedro (Spain); Fs Toni Duggan (England), Charlyn Corral (Mexico), Lieke Martens (Netherlands)
Barcelona: Ds Ana-Maria Crnogorčević (Switzerland, ex-Portland Thorns), Marta Torrejón (Spain); Ms Vicky Losada (Spain), Alexia Putellas (Spain); Fs Caroline Graham Hansen (Norway), Jennifer Hermoso (Spain), Lieke Martens (Netherlands), Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria)
Bayern Munich: D Hanna Glas (Sweden), Carolin Simon (Germany); Ms Viviane Asseyi (France), Giulia Gwinn (Germany), Lina Magull (Germany); F Lineth Beerensteyn (Netherlands)
Glasgow City: Ds Janine van Wyk (South Africa, ex-Houston Dash); Zaneta Wyne (Newport Beach, Calif.); M Leanne Crichton (Scotland), Hayley Lauder (Scotland); F Krystyna Freda (Princeton, N.J.)
Lyon: GK Sarah Bouhaddi (France); Ds Lucy Bronze (England), Kadeisha Buchanan (Canada), Ellie Carpenter (Australia, ex-Portland Thorns), Wendie Renard (France); Ms Delphine Cascarino (France), Amandine Henry (France), Saki Kumagai (Japan), Amel Majri (France), Dzsenifer Marozsán (Germany); Fs Ada Hegerberg (Norway), Eugénie Le Sommer (France), Nikita Parris (England), Jodie Taylor (England, on loan from OL Reign), Shanice van de Sanden (Netherlands)
Paris Saint-Germain: GK Christiane Endler (Chile); Ds Alana Cook (Worcester, Mass.), Irene Paredes (Spain); Ms Sara Däbritz (Germany), Formiga (Brazil), Grace Geyoro (France), Ashley Lawrence (Canada), Nadia Nadim (Denmark); Fs Ramona Bachmann (Switzerland), Kadidiatou Diani (France), Jordyn Huitema (Canada), Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France)
VfL Wolfsburg: GK Almuth Schult (Germany); D Sara Doorsoun-Khajeh (Germany); Ms Lara Dickenmann (Switzerland), Lena Goessling (Germany), Lena Oberdorf (Germany); Fs Pernille Harder (Denmark), Ewa Pajor (Poland), Alexandra Popp (Germany)