CBS & Paramount+ Score a “GOLAZO!” with UEFA Champions League Coverage
When an American sports fan thinks of CBS, many things come to mind.
Maybe it’s a warm “Hello, friends” from Jim Nantz on the 18th at Augusta or Tony Romo predicting where Patrick Mahomes is throwing the ball next. Perhaps, it’s Gus Johnson losing his mind over a March Madness buzzer-beater. However, prior to 2021, one thing you’d almost never associate with the network synonymous with the NFL and PGA would be terms like “offside trap” or “penalty kick.”
This all changed when the American media giant dove head-first into sports’ “other football” for the 2021-22 season. CBS added properties like the Italian Serie A and most-importantly the suite of UEFA club competitions headlined by the Champions League, making their OTT platform, Paramount+, a must-have for footy fans in the states.
Much like a young player working their way into the first team, CBS took some time to find their footing, but the 2022-23 season brought rave reviews across the board. Headlined by an all-star desk crew of Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, and Micah Richards, the Paramount+ coverage of the biggest soccer club competition in the world, the Champions League, has drawn well-earned comparisons to TNT’s Inside the NBA’s crew — finding the perfect mix of in-depth coverage and authentic, light-hearted banter.
The partnership has been such a success that last year the network announced a stunning six-year extension where they will pay UEFA $250 million per year through the 2029-30 season.
“UEFA has been a key driver for Paramount+ since our launch and we are thrilled to extend this successful partnership showcasing even more world-class soccer through the 2029-30 season, building on the incredible momentum we have created the past two years,” said Sean McManus, CBS Sports Chairman. “UEFA is a perfect example of our differentiated strategy presenting marquee properties to drive and strengthen both our streaming and traditional linear businesses.”
While soccer is in a growth period in the United States as a TV property, there is a key factor at play, highlighted by McManus’ quote: UEFA competitions allow CBS — and by proxy Paramount+ — to grow in a differentiated way, and nowhere is this more evident than on CBS Sports’ social media footprint.
At Blinkfire, we offer a best-in-class solution for tracking and valuing all major media companies’ exposure, and I distinctly remember viewing CBS Sports’ CBS Sports Golazo account in Blinkfire in August 2021, with a modest combined following of about 100,000.
Fast forward to the day after this year’s Champions League Final on Sunday, June 11, and the “Golazo” branded accounts boast a following of over 4.2 million across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. “Golazo” currently has 66% more YouTube subscribers than CBS Sports’ main YouTube page.
Additionally, @CBSSportsGolazo has added more than 670,000 followers across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in the last 365 days, which is 80% more new followers than CBS Sports’ @CBSSports accounts, and most notably a 147% increase on Instagram.
It’s not difficult to see why CBS Sports is willing to invest another $250 million per year in soccer, is it…
But, it isn’t just the overall rights to the content that is bringing the eyeballs. The content strategy is an incredible mix of match highlights, exclusive interviews, short-form content, and fun banter between the talent. It’s simply undeniable that while players and coaches can be very buttoned up for interviews with other outlets, Paramount+ has built a trust factor through their social media — even Pep Guardiola referenced it! — that allows them to access the content no one else can.
We created a playlist of posts from CBS Sports Golazo to show the media company’s fantastic content mix.
To further emphasize their commitment to the beautiful game, Paramount+ recently launched the Golazo Network, a free, 24/7 soccer streaming network with a daily morning show and matches that air from leagues like the NWSL, Serie A, and US Open Cup. I must say, even my own daily routine includes enjoying the “Morning Footy” crew with my cup of joe…it beats having Stephen A. Smith screaming at you about the NFL in mid-June.
This season, it was Manchester City lifting the trophy in Istanbul and cementing their status as the world’s best team in 2023, but an honorable mention must go to the CBS Sports team for building a soccer media outlet that gives the beautiful game the stage it deserves in America!
Track and Value Your Media Company’s Content with Blinkfire
Blinkfire is your all-in-one platform to track sponsorship, social media, digital, OTT, and broadcast. For media companies, it’s important to understand your audience, performance, and sponsorship data. Interested in learning how Blinkfire can help track and value your data?