CBS broadcasts Donald Trump verdict over Champions League semi-final match in United States as TV viewers miss several minutes of action
The former president was found by a jury in a civil case to have sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll, who has been awarded $5 million in damages. He was also found to have defamed the woman. CBS, which offers live sports programming and news as part of its TV schedule, chose to cut to the Trump verdict for at least five minutes during the first half of Real Madrid's match against Manchester City.
CBS' sudden switch was surprising to many soccer fans who had not been following the case and were interested by the high-profile match. It is rare for a cable network to deviate from live sports broadcasts given how expensive it is to obtain broadcast rights - the Champions League cost CBS a reported $250 million - but matters of national importance do occasionally take precedence.
Champions League broadcast interrupted for Donald Trump news! pic.twitter.com/neFJ8XUgTa— Ryan Bailey (@RyanJayBailey) May 9, 2023
While the jury's decision does not carry criminal implications, it is still unprecedented in American politics. Trump has said he would run for president again in 2024, which makes the federal jury decision all the more consequential.
This is what people saw on CBS when the broadcast cut to its news division:
BREAKING: A federal jury found Donald Trump liable for battery and defamation in a civil trial stemming from allegations he raped E. Jean Carroll.https://t.co/9ROZKnFTfs pic.twitter.com/TSXess1k7C— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 9, 2023
TV viewers for the Champions League game who were uninterested in politics were out of luck for several minutes on CBS, and they let their thoughts be known on social media, however the network's streaming arm Paramount+ continued showing the game uninterrupted.
CBS has TV and streaming rights for both Champions League semi-final match-ups as well as the final.