ATLANTA—Turner is making a play for a new standalone sports streaming service that will debut in 2018. As part of the streaming service, Turner has also finalized a three-year multi-platform rights agreement for exclusive presentation of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League soccer matches for the 2018-2019 season.
The announcement comes on the heels of Disney’s announcement last week that it will offer an ESPN streaming service, also likely to premiere sometime in 2018.
As part of Turner’s agreement with UEFA, the network will serve as the exclusive media partner in the U.S. for English-language coverage of both UEFA leagues; Turner will present more than 340 UEFA matches per season across its television and digital platforms; matches will be offered direct to consumers through the new OTT sports platform; Turner-owned Bleacher Report will serve as a portal to the OTT service and its live UEFA matches; and live matches will also be aired on TNT, TBS and/or truTV. Bleacher Report will also provide year-long UEFA clips and original content through its products and social media accounts.
Turner’s UEFA Champions League coverage will include four live telecasts a week through the group stage (September through early December) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET, followed by two televised matches per week during the knockout stage (beginning in February) on Tuesday and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. ET. All other matches will be available live through Turner’s OTT platform. All semifinal matches and the Champions League final will be televised nationally on TBS or TNT.
The UEFA Europa League matches will be made available through the OTT platform, with the Europa League final airing on either TBS or TNT. In addition, Turner will televise the UEFA Super Cup on TBS or TNT, which pits the Champions League winner against the Europa League winner.
No official date has been given for the launch of Turner’s sports streaming platform.