UEFA’s new Champions League format, set to come into effect from the 2024-2025 season, will likely represent a significant increase in broadcasting revenues for UEFA as a result of the expanded fixture list. According to GlobalData, the current 32-team Champions League format generates approximately €2.1bn ($2.5bn) from broadcasting partners. This works out at an average of €16.8m per game across the 125 fixture campaign. The new format, which will expand the number of teams from 32 to 36 and use a chess style ‘Swiss Model’ system for the group stage, will increase the number of Champions League fixtures by 100 from 125 to 225, as well include more games between the biggest teams. Under the assumption that the average revenue generated per game remained roughly the same under the new format, UEFA’s broadcasting revenues from the competition could grow by €1.68bn ($2bn).
Liam Fox, Sport Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The expanded Champions League format will undoubtedly see broadcasters channel more of their spend towards European club competitions from the 2024-25 season. However, given the current climate broadcasters find themselves in as a result of the pandemic, whereby falls in advertising revenues and subscription numbers have created shortfalls in revenues, this will likely come at the expense of domestic European leagues, rather than an overall increase in spending on European football rights.
“While this may be remunerative for the bigger teams who consistently compete on the European front in conjunction with domestic competitions, those who only compete domestically will face a shortfall in revenue. This will further consolidate TV and commercial revenues towards Europe’s elite, accentuating the financial disparity between them and clubs who only compete domestically.”