Turner Building Sports Streaming Service With UEFA Soccer Rights

Champions League to boost cable, Bleacher Report, and OTT platforms
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Turner says it plans to use the rights it has acquired to soccer’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League as the foundation for a new stand-alone direct-to-consumer streaming platform as sports, already the most powerful programming on broadcast and cable TV, continues to move over-the-top.

The move follows last week’s announcement that Disney was moving up the launch of a new ESPN-branded subscription streaming service. Twitter is streaming Major League baseball games and Amazon will be streaming Thursday night NFL games this season.

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That means more competition for traditional TV, which counts on sports and news to generate live views as people increasingly watch scripted and non-scripted programming on demand.

With ad revenue flat and the number of pay-TV subscribers eroding, direct to consumers subscription products are looking more and more attractive to TV companies.

Turner, which is spending a reported $60 million a year on the soccer rights, will air games on its TNT, TBS and truTV cable channels. Its Bleacher Report online sports service will also carry soccer content and will be a portal for fans looking to watch the games that aren’t on traditional TV.

Read more at B&C.