How to watch the UEFA Champions League soccer tournament on CBS All Access

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  • The UEFA Champions League, Europe's premier club soccer tournament, resumes with four games on August 7 and 8. 
  • The Champions League was forced to pause in early March amid uncertainty stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • CBS obtained broadcasting rights to the rest of the tournament when Turner Sports opted out of finishing the 2019-20 season. 
  • CBS will stream all remaining games through its CBS All Access subscription service, and will also broadcast select games through the CBS Sports Network.
  • CBS All Access subscriptions start at $5.99 a month, and new members can receive a one-month free trial. 

With soccer leagues across Europe finally finishing their respective domestic seasons, 12 elite teams have turned their attention to completing the UEFA Champions League. The Champions League is typically played simultaneously with domestic league seasons. However, once the coronavirus pandemic caused long pauses in many leagues, and the cancellation of seasons in others, the Champions League lost priority to finishing domestic seasons.

The Champions League resumes in the middle of the round of 16 portion of the tournament. The participants for the quarter finals are already determined on one half of the bracket. These four teams were able to finish both legs of their round of 16 ties before the pause. The remaining eight teams still have the second leg of their ties to complete. These games will take place across August 7 and 8. 

Turner Sports, the Champions League official broadcaster in the United States over the past two and a half seasons, forfeited its broadcasting rights for the remainder of the 2019-20 season and the entire 2020-21 competition. CBS then acquired these rights, meaning the remainder of this year's competition will be broadcast by CBS. They were already slated to begin broadcasting Champions League starting with the 2021-22 edition of the competition.

In addition to the Champions League, CBS is broadcasting the UEFA Europa League, which began on August 6. The Europa League is also currently in the round of 16 portion of its competition.

The majority of CBS' Champions League and Europa League coverage will be exclusive to the CBS All Access streaming service. 

How to watch the UEFA Champions League

The 2019-20 UEFA Champions League will conclude with the final on August 20.Eric Gaillard/Reuters

CBS will broadcast every UEFA Champions League match on the CBS All Access streaming service. You can sign up for a month-long free trial of the app here. CBS All Access costs $5.99 a month with limited commercials, or $9.99 a month for the commercial free plan. With that said, the commercial free plan still includes ads during live broadcasts.

In addition to CBS All Access, three of the remaining four round of 16 games will also be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network. After that, games stretching from the quarter finals through the final are expected to be exclusive to CBS All Access. 

If you have a supported cable or satellite package, you can watch CBS Sports Network's selection of games on TV.  CBS Sports Network is also available through select live TV streaming services, including FuboTV and Hulu+ Live TV. You can access all of these services on most mobile devices, media players, and connected TVs, including Amazon Fire TV, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, Samsung smart TVs, and more. 

The UEFA Champions League restart begins August 7 at 3 p.m. ET with Juventus vs. Lyon and Manchester City vs. Real Madrid. You can view a schedule of upcoming games here.

Since CBS also has the rights for next year's season, it's likely that future Champions League games will also be streamed through CBS All Access. The group stages of the 2020-21 Champions League will begin on October 20. 

Major storylines

Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring a game winning goal against Liverpool, March 11, 2020.CARL RECINE/Reuters

Since this restart comes in the middle of the competition, there are important factors that are carrying over from when the tournament stopped nearly five months ago. When the tournament paused, four teams had already advanced to the quarter finals. Those teams are Red Bull Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain, Atalanta, and Atlético Madrid. The four games taking place on August 7 and 8 will decide which remaining teams go through to the quarter finals.

These matches are the second legs of existing ties between teams. The Champions League knockout rounds are composed of two-legged ties. They are two games, played home and away for either team, where the aggregate score determines the winner. Essentially, it's one long 180-minute game played on two separate days. If there's a tie, the tie breaker for the two-game-series is determined by away goals. So, if the combined score from the games sees the teams tied, the team with the most goals scored at the opposing stadium advances. 

With that in mind, the current scores after the first leg of the remaining round of 16 are as follows. Manchester City owns a two to one aggregate advantage over Real Madrid after visiting Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Barcelona and Napoli tied their first meeting one to one at Napoli's Stadio San Paulo. French club Olympique Lyonnais claimed a surprise one to zero victory over Juventus in Lyon. And finally, Chelsea will look to overcome a three to nothing deficit stemming from their at home defeat to Bayern Munich.

A new caveat of the tournament — in response to a condensed global soccer schedule — is that the quarter finals through the final will not maintain the two-game-series format that is standard to the Champions League. Instead, the eight quarter finalists will meet at the neutral site of Lisbon, Portugal, for a single elimination tournament to decide this year's European club champion. 

This portion of the tournament will stretch between August 12 and August 15. You can find the full Champions League schedule here.

 

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