The CBS Champions League studio show considered soccer's best: Kate Abdo, Micah Richards, Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher | Sporting News (2024)

With the 2023 Champions League final set to pit Manchester City against Inter in a massive tilt from Istanbul, U.S. fans are ready to enjoy the action before, during, and after the game from the comfort of their own homes.

The European broadcast rights in the United States have been with CBS since they first acquired the competition in 2019, thrust into their responsibilities early thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coverage, both during and outside game action, has earned rave reviews so far. Led by executive producer Pete Radovich, Jr, the coverage provides expert analysis, top commentary, and delightful entertainment value to keep fans watching not just throughout the on-field gameplay, but also before and after the action.

The studio coverage, anchored by Kate Abdo, featuring Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, and Micah Richards as analysts, and on-site reporting from Man United goalkeeping legend Peter Schmeichel and Guillem Balague, has received resounding acclaim from both inside the industry and from fans. The Sporting News brings you all you need to know about who is on the show and how it came together.

Stream the UEFA Champions League final live in the USA on Paramount+. Try 1 month free with promo code FINAL.

CBS soccer's Champions League studio team

CBS's four-person crew for their Champions League coverage, officially known as "UEFA Champions League Today," consists of Kate Abdo as host, alongside analysts Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, and Micah Richards.

Kate Abdo

Born in Manchester, England, the 41-year-old Abdo is an experienced soccer host who has previously worked for Sky Sports, FOX, CNN, DAZN, and other networks through her career. She is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and German, and has also hosted events such as the Ballon d'Or award ceremony and the Europa League group stage draw, while also providing studio coverage for the FIFA World Cup.

The CBS Champions League studio show considered soccer's best: Kate Abdo, Micah Richards, Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher | Sporting News (1)

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Thierry Henry

French international star Thierry Henry was one of the most fearsome strikers in the world during his time at Arsenal, where he spent eight seasons before moving to Barcelona, where he won a Champions League title. Henry also made 123 appearances for the French national team, scoring 51 goals, the second-most in French history.

Since retiring after a four-year stint in Major League Soccer, Henry has worked both in managing and broadcasting. As a coach, spent time as an assistant with the Belgium national team, and led both AS Monaco (France) and Montreal Impact (Canada) for a period. As a broadcaster, Henry has done work for Sky Sports (UK), and Amazon Prime Sports (France) alongside his CBS responsibilities.

“I had the opportunity to win a treble with you, hopefully you’ll win one again.” 🏆🏆🏆

Theirry Henry catches up with his former manager Pep Guardiola as he looks to claim his first treble with @ManCity by winning the #uclfinal.

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) June 10, 2023

Jamie Carragher

A one-club player through his 17-year career, Jamie Carragher spent all his playing days with Liverpool as a full-back, ending his time as the club's second-longest serving player. He made 38 appearances for England's national team as well, and was nominated for the Ballon d'Or in 2005.

Since retiring in 2010, Carragher has built a strong broadcasting career with a fiery but cheery personality, not afraid to have strong opinions about games and players, but always defaulting back to his enjoyment of the sport and banter.

Micah Richards

A former defender for Manchester City and Aston Villa, Micah Richards retired in 2019 and began a broadcasting career with CBS, Sky Sports, and BBC. Richards is certainly a knowledgable football pundit, but is often more well-known for his entertainment value and laughter, and the regular ribbing he receives from his colleagues for his lack of football achievements compared to others on the show.

When @micahrichards turned the tables on @kate_abdo 😂

Who will get the final word on Saturday? 👀

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) June 5, 2023

Why CBS Champions League show is considered best in soccer

When it comes to balancing hard-hitting football analysis with entertaining chemistry between talent, there is no better English-language soccer studio show than that of CBS Sports.

The crew, consisting of Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, and Micah Richards, has natural chemistry, and what they bring in football know-how (with two Champions League winners and a World Cup title, it's a lot), they have double that in entertainment value.

There's an energy between the four that comes through consistently throughout the show, and while they can joke at each other's expense, it's always in fun, and their respect for one another shines through consistently as well.

Whether it's Kate introducing the wrong network on air, Jamie pronouncing "Internazionale" horribly, Micah getting drenched by a field sprinkler,Thierry wearing a silly costume, or Erling Haaland laughing about them "always asking awkward questions," there's never a shortage of entertainment, and the crew can make fun of each other in a genuinely entertaining way without fear of truly insulting their colleague on air.

Couple that with the exceptional analysis and breakdowns the talent provide, as Thierry Henry leads the way with his unique experience and knowledge of the game, the show provides fans with a perfect mix of everything they could want leading into and coming out of big matches across European football. Henry has gone viral for a number of poignant moments, including his extremely thoughtful advice for Man City striker Erling Haaland, and a wonderful story he told during an interview with his former manager Pep Guardiola.

Jack Grealish turns the tables on Titi and asks whether get past @kylewalker2. 😂

— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) June 10, 2023

"We nail down in the production meetings the talking points we want to discuss in terms of the meat of the show, and that’s well-structured and clear, but it’s not over-produced so we leave time in each segment for whatever comes up unexpectedly," Kate Abdo told reporters in a press conference ahead of the 2023 Champions League final. "As long as you have that content, you feel confident going in and then whatever comes up organically comes up organically.”

How to watch CBS Champions League soccer studio show

Fans in the United States looking to watch the Champions League final can view the match on the CBS network, or stream their full coverage on Paramount+.

The pregame show featuring the Champions League crew kicks off at 1:30 p.m. ET on CBS. The postgame show will also be televised on CBS Sports Network. Both channels can be streamed on Paramount+ and Fubo, which offers a free trial for new users.

Using the promo code "FINAL" fans can also get a one-month free trial of Paramount+ to view not only Champions League, but the rest of their European football coverage plus the rest of their sports coverage and wide array television shows.

Stream the UEFA Champions League final live in the USA on Paramount+. Try 1 month free with promo code FINAL.

When did CBS Champions League studio show start?

The assembling the of UEFA Champions League Today studio show began the moment CBS acquired the broadcast rights for UEFA club competitions, which was announced in November 2019.

The show was first meant to hit the airwaves when the rights transitioned from Turner Sports to CBS for the start of the 2021/22 season, but Turner elected to drop out of its contract during the COVID-19 suspension of play in early 2020, and thus CBS scrambled to pick up the remainder of the competition once play resumed.

Originally, the studio show featured a four-person crew of Kate Abdo, Roberto Martinez, Jamie Carragher, and Micah Richards.

“When we first started less than three years ago, the second I heard the chance we had of getting this, the next thing out of my mouth was 'we need to go get Kate Abdo,' so she was No. 1 in our plans," CBS executive producer Pete Radovich, Jr told reporters at a video press event ahead of the 2023 Champions League final.

Jamie Carragher has been well-established as a popular football pundit in the UK, and his arrival on American television came with name recognition, but his Scouse accent was a question mark for the CBS executives prior to his hire.

"Jamie came our way, and he knows the story, but basically with his accent in our American audience, we let our wives decide," Radovich said through a smile. "We sent them tapes and asked them straight up: ‘Can you understand this person.’ He passed by a 2-1 vote."

In contrast to Carragher, Micah Richards is relatively new to punditry since leaving the game, but he has risen fast in the industry thanks to his big personality and entertaining flair, able to both play off his own mistakes and combine well with other talent.

“We had tape of Micah Richards in studio, and then we heard him on a podcast, and he was a completely different person," Radovich said. "So we had a call with Micah and first thing we said was ‘Can we get the Micah that’s on the podcast?’”

At the time the show began, Roberto Martinez was coaching Belgium alongside his duties as CBS analyst, and he would eventually depart in late 2021 to focus on preparing for the 2022 World Cup. He was replaced by Thierry Henry, who has blossomed into the most knowledgable and entertaining English-language football pundit in the business.

“Roberto [Martinez] was the adult in the room," Radovich said. "So when he left, we needed another adult in the room, and went to get Thierry.”

What is CBS Sports Golazo Network show?

Just launched in 2023, CBS has dedicated an entire 24-hour streaming channel to just football, called the Golazo Network.

The network is free to view, and is available across multiple CBS streaming platforms, including Paramount+, on, and via its own dedicated page.

The slate of programming includes original shows like Morning Footy (7 a.m.-9 a.m. ET), Box 2 Box (1 p.m.-2 p.m. ET), full and condensed matches, the U.S. Open Cup tournament, and other soccer programming.

The CBS Champions League studio show considered soccer's best: Kate Abdo, Micah Richards, Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher | Sporting News (2024)


Who is the female soccer commentator on CBS Sports? ›

Kate Abdo (née Giles; born 8 September 1981) is a British sports broadcaster who works for CBS Sports. She has anchored CBS's coverage of the UEFA Champions League since August 2020. She has worked in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, and the United States.

Where is the CBS Champions League filmed? ›

UEFA club competitions

Its name is a reference to "CBS Sports Golazo", the branding used by the network on social media to promote their men's soccer programming. CBS's studio coverage for the Champions League is produced from IMG's studio in Stockley Park, London in association with network-owned Channel 5.

What did Jamie Carragher say about Abdo? ›

The 46-year-old pundit opened the exchange: "You [Thierry Henry] can wear it next and for the last part [of the show] you [Abdo] have got to wear it." The presenter hit back "No, I am loyal" in reference to her support of Arsenal's Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Does Thierry Henry have a wife? ›

Why is CBS showing soccer? ›

CBS Sports first acquired UCL rights in 2020 and launched CBS Sports Golazo Network in 2023 as the first-of-its-kind free soccer streaming network in the U.S. while @CBSSportsGolazo is now the No. 1 U.S. soccer media brand with over 4.2 billion video views over this past year.

How much did CBS pay for the Champions League? ›

The Champions League is staying on CBS in the United States for an additional six years with parent company Paramount paying $250 million a year to renew its prime European football rights through 2030, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday.

Who is hosting the Champions League on CBS Sports? ›

CBS Sports' live pre/postmatch and halftime show, UEFA Champions League Today, will be onsite and hosted by Kate Abdo alongside analysts Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, and Micah Richards.

Is CBS Champions League free? ›

The channel will stream live for free on, the CBS Sports app for connected TV devices, the CBS Sports mobile app, Pluto TV and Paramount+. Streaming began on April 11 with exclusive UEFA Champions League Coverage and same-day UCL Quarterfinal Encores.

Does CBS play the Champions League? ›

CBS Sports will also dedicate additional shoulder programming surrounding the UEFA Champions League Final, including: CBS Sports Golazo Network kicks off the day's live coverage with a two-hour UCL Final edition of its flagship show, MORNING FOOTY, beginning at 11:00 AM, ET.

Did Jamie Carragher apologize to Kate Abdo? ›

Does he apologise? Yes he does. But all of us have that one annoying family member that we still love and 'accept'.

What did Jamie say to Abdo? ›

Carragher, who was wearing an Arsenal shirt, told Abdo and Henry they would have to wear the shirt next only for Abdo to insist she is "loyal to Manchester United, thank you very much."

Who does Kate Abdo support? ›

George Graham led the Gunners who had a squad that included the likes of Alan Smith, Paul Merson and Ian Wright. Abdo's true colours have been caught on camera previously though, proving that she is instead a Manchester United fan.

Who is the female announcer on CBS Sports? ›

Tracy Wolfson (born March 17, 1975) is an American sportscaster for CBS Sports.

What is the name of the all female sports talk show on CBS Sports? ›

CBS Sports' groundbreaking women-focused brand We Need To Talk is launching a podcast. Get your weekly sports and culture fix with Ashley Nicole Moss and Alicia Jay. They will cover the top news in sports, with an emphasis on female athletes and women making waves across the industry.

Who are the commentators on CBS Sports Football? ›

  • JJ Watt. Studio Analyst, THE NFL TODAY.
  • Matt Ryan. Studio Analyst, THE NFL TODAY.
  • Jason McCourty. Analyst, NFL ON CBS.
  • Ross Tucker. Analyst.
  • Amanda Guerra. Reporter, NFL ON CBS; Host, CBS Sports HQ.
  • Tiffany Blackmon. Reporter.
  • Chris Lewis. Reporter.
  • Michael Grady. Reporter, THE NFL ON CBS.

Who is the host of CBS soccer? ›

CBS Sports soccer host Kate Abdo and analysts Clint Dempsey, Charlie Davies and Maurice Edu co-host KICKIN' IT, an unfiltered interview show where they sit down with soccer's biggest names.


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