The highest club competition in Europe implemented an ingenious modification of schedules in their group matches. But who benefits?
The UEFA Executive Committee approved a series of modifications at the end of 2016 for the next cycle of European competitions, that is, in the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League between 2018 and 2021.
Leer en español: ¡Atención! La Champions League cambia de horario
One of the most striking changes was that applied to the schedules of the matches, which within the framework of the UCL, have stopped playing simultaneously at 20:45 HEC (Central European time) to be played in two schedules: 18: 55 HEC and 21:00 HEC.
New schedule: only for the group phase
The change of schedules of the Champions League was notified by UEFA in an official statement, which emphasizes that the creation of the two schedules will only be effective in the group stage of the event and will only apply to 2 of the 8 matches of each day, while the games of direct elimination (of an eighth of end in ahead) will be played in a single schedule: 21:00 HEC.
"The UEFA Champions League play-offs, the group matches, the knockout rounds, quarterfinals, semi-finals and the final will be played at 21:00 HEC. However, in each day of the group stage, two matches on Tuesday and two on Wednesday will be played at 18:55 HEC," UEFA said in its statement, although it is unknown what is the criterion for choosing the two matches that will go in the most advanced schedule.
Similarly, according to UEFA, this implementation of two schedules for group matches will disappear on the last day, so to avoid advantages of one club over another, all duels will be held simultaneously. Likewise, the highest authority in European football clarifies that it can make exceptions to this rule if the organization considers it.
The group stage has six days: the first date was held on September 18 and 19, the second day will be on October 2 and 3, the third date will be held from October 23 to 24, the fourth day between November 6 and 7, the fifth date was set for November 27 and 28, while the sixth and final day of the group stage will be held on December 11 and 12, which, unlike the other dates, will be held in a single schedule.
Viewers and television networks are the biggest beneficiaries
The implementation of two schedules in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League greatly benefits viewers around the world, as they will be able to see more matches and enjoy the matches of more top-level teams.
On the other hand, the other big beneficiaries of this modification of schedules will be the TV channels accredited by UEFA to cover the Champions, because they would double their audience and their economic benefit per guideline. "The reason is that with the assurance that there will be 16 major clubs in Spain, England, Germany and Italy, the previous concentration of schedules would not be good because there would be an excess of time matches of important matches, which would 'step on' each other with the clear prejudice that this represents for television and advertisers," says Francesc Aguilar, a journalist from Mundo Deportivo.
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It is for this reason that, in the case of Latin America, ESPN and FOX Sports, which are two of the major television networks related to sports, renewed the broadcast rights to the UEFA Champions League in mid-2018. "This The change will allow ESPN to offer live matches like never before," the network said in an official statement. "The new agreement guarantees FOX Sports Latin America the integral coverage of both tournaments through the FOX Sports platforms, both linear and digital," the chain of North American origin said.
It is worth remembering that this season UEFA made an agreement with Facebook to broadcast live Champions League matches on this social network and that Sport 24 has the rights for retransmissions on flights and on sea journeys. The business has been profitable in large quantities with this change of schedule, which will not be affected because both schedules are common in the practice of professional football.
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Schedules for Latin America
According to Zeitverschiebung.net, the schedules of the UEFA Champions League (18:55 HEC and 21:00 HEC), moved to Latin American schedules, would be:
- Argentina / Brazil / Chile / Uruguay: 13:55 and 16:00
- Bolivia / Cuba / Paraguay / Puerto Rico / Dominican Republic / Venezuela: 12:55 and 15:00
- Colombia / Ecuador / Mexico / Panama / Peru: 11:55 and 14:00
- Costa Rica / El Salvador / Guatemala / Honduras / Nicaragua: 10:55 and 13:00
However, it is necessary to corroborate the schedules according to the city of residence within countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, and Chile, including the United States, since being countries of a fairly long longitudinal territory, several time zones are managed.
Likewise, schedules may vary with the usual seasonal change of time in Europe. Latin America and the whole world have started to enjoy more matches in the UEFA Champions League thanks to this ingenious modification of schedules.
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from: '¡Atención! La Champions League cambia de horario'
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