CBS Sports today announced the details of an agreement for Paramount+, ViacomCBS’ subscription streaming service, to serve as the exclusive English-language home in the US of qualifying matches for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 for the CONCACAF region of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. The deal includes six away matches for both the United States and Mexico men’s national teams as well as the media rights to all other matches played in the region. Up to 79 matches will stream live on Paramount+ and CBS Sports has the ability to air select matches on linear platforms.
The first of three rounds of qualifying matches kick off this evening (Wednesday) involving teams ranked 6-35 based on FIFA rankings. Tonight’s matches on Paramount+ feature Dominican Republic vs. Dominica at 7:05 PM, ET and Guatemala vs. Cuba at 8:05 PM, ET. The top five ranked CONCACAF teams – Mexico, the United States, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Honduras – join the action in the Third round.
“We’re excited to make Paramount+ the home of CONCACAF Men’s World Cup Qualifiers and look forward to bringing these intense and competitive national team competitions to fans,” said Jeffrey Gerttula, Executive Vice President and General Manager, CBS Sports Digital. “With the addition of these qualifiers, Paramount+ will be the destination for a diverse and passionate fanbase eager to cheer for their national teams on the road to the FIFA World Cup.”
Hillary Mandel, EVP, Head of Americas and Global Partnerships, IMG, said: “We are really excited about the distribution commitment and amplification that Paramount+ and the CBS Sports platforms will provide for the CONCACAF qualifiers, and especially English-speaking fans in the United States. They have made a huge commitment to soccer and this deal strengthens their position for delivering quality, premium live action from the very best competitions around the world.”
In the First round of matches, teams ranked 6-35 are drawn in six groups of five and play single round-robin matches (two home and two away) with group winners qualifying for the next round. These take place in March and June 2021. In the Second round, the six First round group winners play in a two-legged home and away series (also in June 2021) with the three winners advancing to the final round to join the five top-ranked teams.
Teams then play each other home and away with the top three teams qualifying for the World Cup. These matches are played in September, October and November 2021, and January and March 2022. The fourth placed team advances to the inter-confederation play-offs. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be held from Nov. 21-Dec. 18, 2022.
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IMG jointly owns the media rights for the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers with Mediapro, who are also the production host broadcaster for the matches.