UEFA Champions League Final: CBS Sports Will Be Closer to the Action Than Ever With Pitchside Set in Istanbul
Besides the linear game broadcast, viewers can watch Tactical Cam, Star Cam feeds on Paramount+
For this Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final, CBS Sports is taking the pitch like never before. Its UEFA Champions League Today studio show has been onsite for past UCL Finals in various locations throughout the stadium, and this weekend will mark the first time that the Today set will be pitchside.
“We’ll have our crew pitchside so [they will be] even closer to the action, which is exciting,” says CBS Sports VP, Production/Senior Creative Director Pete Radovich, coordinating producer for CBS Sports’ soccer coverage. “[With the] move from the stands to pitchside, we had more area to work with up higher but felt a little distant.”
Operating from Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, CBS Sports will present 7½ hours of live coverage of the Manchester City–Inter Milan matchup on Saturday across CBS, CBS Sports Network, Paramount+, and CBS Sports Golazo Network.
Pre-match coverage on CBS and Paramount+ will begin at 1:30 p.m. ET with UEFA Champions League Today. Host Kate Abdo and analysts Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, and Micah Richards will be live on the pitch for pre/post-match and halftime shows.
“[The 2022 UCL Final in] Paris was great,” says Radovich, “but the biggest learning for me has been that the closer we can be to the players and the closer we can be to the pitch, the more interactive the viewing experience is going to be. Last year, it looked nice from up top. You see more of the stadium visually but, at the end of the day, want to be part of the action. I feel like, through our people on camera, [viewers are] going to feel close to the action.”
Also onsite will be Guillem Balagué and Peter Schmeichel providing pitchside reports.
“The setting will be different — pitchside as opposed to in a studio in London,” says Radovich. “But the content and the vibe and the flow and everything we’re doing will be the same. People enjoyed it a year ago, and people have been enjoying it throughout this year. I think they’re really going to enjoy this one.”
For the game itself, CBS will rely largely on the UEFA world feed, with Line Producer Matt Curtis cutting the show in close collaboration with Radovich and his team. Play-by-play caller Clive Tyldesley and analyst Rob Green will call the action onsite, and Christina Unkel will serve as rules analyst.
Viewers will have multiple options for watching in addition to the main broadcast on CBS and Paramount+.
Paramount+ will offer a live Tactical Cam feed featuring high sideline camera showing all 22 players at once. This enables fans to better see formations, as well as both teams’ attacking and defending tactics as the game progresses.
Paramount+ will also offer a Star Cam viewing option featuring an iso camera that follows individual players throughout the game. Radovich says the Star Cam is likely to start on Manchester City star Erling Holland and then switch to other players throughout the game.