The Champions League is one of the most competitive soccer tournaments in the world, with top club teams from European leagues fighting for the title every year. Securing the broadcast rights is just as competitive. With over 300 million viewers tuning in to the biggest games, the market is lucrative.
Figuring out how to watch it can be tricky, though, particularly if you live outside of Europe. The games have a habit of moving around the schedules, and may move to a different channel every now and then, too. We’ve put this guide together to show you how to watch the Champions League. If you’re more of a fight fan, check out our guide to watching the UFC online.
In a Perfect World
The best place to watch a game is the stadium. Tickets for Champions League games at the biggest clubs can be like gold dust, though, often requiring attendance at other games just to be entered into a draw to buy one. Hospitality tickets are usually available, but they can cost hundreds of dollars.
Beware of websites that claim to have tickets for sale, as many of them are fake. The process for getting proper tickets varies from club to club. You can often find discussions on how to do so on official team websites or moderated fan forums on websites such as Reddit.
If you can’t get match tickets, the next best place to watch is a sports bar. You can probably find one of those without our help if you live near a major city. If you prefer to watch from home, though, there are plenty of great options.
Many countries have the Champions League on cable or satellite TV, so look to see what is available to you locally. There are also lots of streaming services, both paid and free, that you can use. Software, such as Kodi, can also help. If you want to watch older games, torrents are an option.
Soccer in the U.S.
Soccer is getting more popular in the U.S., with a growing league and the women’s national team being the current world champions. Watching overseas soccer is easier than ever with the Champions League and other tournaments airing on U.S. channels. The best VPN for ESPN are little help, though, as that channel doesn’t broadcast the Champions League.
The U.S. rights to the tournament are held by Turner Broadcasting System and Univision. Turner’s TNT channel shows the games in English, while Univision has commentary in Spanish. Univision seems to have more positive reviews than TNT, though, so maybe it’s time to brush up on your Spanish.
DAZN offers all the Champions League games and is available in most of the world. For $9.99 per month, you can watch live games and stream others from the last week or two. In our experience, the quality is good but not at the level of cable, and you will see the occasional wobble during live games.
It has a good selection of other sports, too, including NFL, F1, boxing and NBA (also see our dedicated guide on how to watch NBA games online).
DAZN is available in most countries, but there are many streaming companies that operate in just one or a handful of places. In Australia, for example, Optus lets you stream Champions League games, as well as the Premier League and internationals.
If a service is limited to a particular country, you may be able to access it from elsewhere using a virtual private network. Some services try to detect and block VPNs, but others are happy to accept paying customers wherever they can. Take a look at our best VPN for streaming guide for more on what does and doesn’t work.
Streaming the Champions League for Free
If you’re stuck somewhere where you can’t access a paid service, you can try hunting for a free stream. There are lots of websites that stream the Champions League, such as Couchtuner, but streaming is illegal in many places, so it may be a bad idea for you to do so.
UEFA, which runs the Champions League, has its own live streaming application, which, unfortunately, is limited to audio and live statistics. It does show highlights, though, so it is a great way to catch up on games you’ve missed. You can also watch the draws for each round. The app is available for Android and iOS.
If you are trying to find somewhere showing the finals for the Champions League or Europa League, they are supposed to be shown for free. Making the finals free is usually a condition UEFA insists on when negotiating rights. In the UK, for example, BT Sport streamed both finals last time, so keep an eye on it this season.
Kodi and the Champions League
Kodi is a versatile media player, that allows you to customize it with many extensions, some of which can be used for streaming. Read our Kodi guide for more details.
If you want to customize it for streaming, take a look at our piece on the best Kodi repositories. You’ll find several good options there. If you’re not into playing around with software, you can get a custom version made for you. Our article on the best Kodi builds has advice on what to pick.
There are also several extensions for sports fans. You wouldn’t be here if that wasn’t you, so check out our guide to the best Kodi add-ons for sports.
Torrenting is a legal gray area and you should exercise caution if you’re hunting around torrent websites. Our best VPNs for torrenting can make your connection harder to breach than a Juventus back four. Use one and there’s no way you’ll be caught offside.
Some internet service providers use deep packet inspection to throttle torrents. If that happens, your download speeds will hit the ground faster than Neymar under physical contact. If your speeds aren’t what they could be, our how to speed up your internet connection guide might help you get a few more megabits per second.
There are plenty of ways to watch the Champions League, official and unofficial, but if there’s anything soccer has taught us it’s that rules are there to be bent. Do try to use the official methods if possible. They are better quality and you are less likely to fall victim to cybercrime.
If you are in a part of the world where you can’t access an official service, there are ways to get around regional lockouts. Our geoblocking guide will help you access streaming services regardless of your location.
If you’re desperate to see the latest game, but can’t find anywhere that shows it, we hope we’ve helped. If you have used the tips here successfully, or know another way to watch the Champions League, let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.