The production and announcing team will be on site; some support will be remote
CBS Sports crossed the pool this weekend to the Stade de France on the outskirts of Paris for live coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday. CBS and Paramount + will broadcast live 90-minute pre-match studio events with half-hour and post-match coverage. In addition, CBS Sports will have broadcasters and reporters on the side of the field for the match.
With the Champions League Final stadium at full capacity for the first time since 2019, Pete Radovich, creative director / coordination producer, football coverage, CBS Sportscalled Saturday’s production the culmination of two years of work since CBS acquired Champions League rights.
“We’ve been waiting for this since day one, which was almost two years ago. This is the best -case scenario for us, so we’re very excited about it,” he said. “It’s a dream when you work in this industry, and you work in this sport to make it to the Champions League Final. To be in Paris is just an absolute no-brainer [to be onsite]. Once announced [that it would be] moving to Paris, we put all the wheels in motion.
CBS will have the largest presence on the board for a Champions League match to date, including a new set made specifically for the final and receiving a dynamic position on the board with permission from UEFA. A full production team in Paris, with production support in London and Paris. Host Kate Abdo and analyst Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragherand Micah Richards will handle studio duties for pre-match, part-time, and post-match.
In addition, journalist Peter Schmeichel, Jules Violation, Guillem Balaguéand Jenny Chiu will be pitch-side and contribute to pre / post-match coverage. Match commentator Clive Tyldesley and analyst Rob Green will be onsite. CBS Sports rule expert Christina Unkel will be far from New York.
“It all started in the middle of a pandemic when, basically, our hands were tied behind our backs to start. [was challenging], ”Radovich recounts. “Half of the studios are closed, and travel is difficult. Because of the situation where we started and how we had to start, I was very happy [at where we are now]but I know we will get better. “
With a mix of original on-air personalities and fan-favorite segments like “The Mixer,” Radovich believes, CBS Sports ’Champions League studio show finally got a step up when closing year 2 of the rights package.
“I’m proud of the fact that simple parts like‘ The Mixer ’can do well and can be well-received,” he said. “But all in all, ask them and find two, three next segment ideas that work well and match your audience.
“With the Champions League,” he continued, “I feel like it’s settled now, and we’ve finally found the groove. We have a team in place. We love chemistry. I’ll put this show up against any show on sports television in America. I’m going to give our talent, the broadcasters, our crew against whatever’s on the outside.The bar is going to keep going up and higher.For us, it’s just getting better and better.
As CBS looks to continue to increase its Champions League coverage – and overall football coverage – viewers can expect more frequent on -site production as it will be seen this weekend at the Stade de France, Radovich said.
“The biggest thing is to find a way to be more often on the road,” he said. “For me, this is a new frontier, because we’ve been against COVID and now the final is in a full stadium. Remember, last year, [when] we did the finals, it wasn’t even a full stadium. We ourselves are not there. We were in London because there was a ban. Now, it’s obviously wood, like the door opens to a full stadium and full coverage. I think the next frontier for us will be doing road games [and] took a studio on the road – to Germany, to Barcelona, to Italy. It’s up to me to do next.