The Big Money Behind Champions League Football
Find out where the big money is in champion league football.
On June 6, 2015, FC Barcelona defeated Juventus 3-1 in the final of the UEFA Champions League Final, at the Olympiastadion, Berlin, to be crowned as the champions of European football.
With an estimated 180 million viewers tuning in from over 200 territories around the globe, the final of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) is now soccer’s most-watched annual event.
After UEFA realized the global appeal of the final, it was changed from a week night to a Saturday night to draw more global viewers. UEFA has also focused on increasing the revenues from broadcasts as well as the prize money for leagues and teams that participate in various stages of the competition.
In Europe, the UCL is one of the most lucrative sports competitions. With the estimated gross commercial revenue from the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League and Super Cup estimated at about €1.34 billion, which is equivalent to about $1.73 billion. This revenue is expected to rise by nearly 30% in the 2015-16 season due to new broadcast deals.
Revenue from the UCL compares favorably with the annual revenues of $4 billion for the National Basketball Association, $3.4 billion for the National Hockey League and $300 million for the Major League Soccer in the United States. Although UEFA is not the world’s richest sports association, in terms of revenue, its annual Champions League final attracts the largest number of viewers worldwide.
Since 2011, the UCL final has been attracting a record breaking number of television viewers from different parts of the world. That year, about 178.7 million people watched the final match between Manchester United and F.C. Barcelona, played at the new Wembley Stadium, in London.
This was the most widely viewed Champions League game in history and the sporting event that attracted the greatest number of viewers that year. During that event over 2.6 million viewers watched the game in the U.S. The following year, when Chelsea FC of England defeated Bayern Munich in the finals, over 2 million U.S. viewers watched the match live on FOX Sports.
The journey to the next Champions League Final at the San Siro stadium in Milan on May 28, 2016 has already begun. Fans and supporters have been purchasing tickets for Champions league matches online from reputable companies like Ticketbis, to watch live matches at various stages of the competition.
From the qualifying rounds, to the play-offs, to the groups stage, through the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final, the excitement and thrills get bigger and better.
The increasing level of viewer and social media engagement that the UEFA Champions League enjoys among soccer fans across the globe was demonstrated by an average of 145 million viewers tuning in during each of the 15 match days of the 2014-15 competition.
UEFA – The Union of European Football Associations – is composed of 53 member-associations in both Western and Eastern Europe. Countries like Israel that are not physically located in continental Europe also participate in UEFA competitions.
The clubs that qualified for the 2015-16 group stage include, defending champions Barcelona, 2015 finalists Juventus, 10-time winners Real Madrid, 2014 finalists Atletico Madrid, 2013 winners Bayern Munich, 2015 Europa League winners Sevilla, and the top-class teams from the English Premier League, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea FC, and Arsenal FC.