Paramount's CBS Sports launching soccer-centric streaming channel

Paramount Global's CBS Sports will debut a new free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channel dedicated to soccer in April.

The channel, called CBS Sports Golazo Network, will be offered through Paramount+ and the free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service Pluto TV when it debuts next month, the company affirmed in a press release on Wednesday.

The channel builds on several partnerships Paramount and CBS Sports have forged with international soccer brands, including UEFA Europa League, Serie A, NWSL, Conacaf and others.

While live matches from pro soccer leagues have been largely relegated to Paramount Plus, the company affirmed a handful of matches will be made available through CBS Sports Golazo Network, meaning the events will be free to stream through Pluto TV for the first time.

Paramount didn't say if the CBS Sports Golazo Network would be made available on free, ad-supported streaming services beyond the Paramount family. Other channels, like CBS News Digital and CBS Sports HQ, are offered through third parties like Comcast's Xumo Play.

CBS Sports Golazo Network — the word "golazo" is used by Spanish speakers after a soccer player makes an impressive goal — will feature soccer-related shows and news programming throughout the day, including a morning show called "Morning Footy" anchored by Susan Collins, Charlie Davies, Nico Cantor and Alexis Guerrors.

"The launch of the CBS Sports Golazo Network demonstrates the continued evolution of our industry-leading soccer coverage as we build on the incredible momentum we have created the past three years delivering authentic, informative, engaging and entertaining content across multiple platforms," Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, said in a statement. "Led by our best-in-class studio shows and announcers, more than 2,400 live soccer matches a year and now a dedicated soccer streaming network, CBS Sports is the ultimate destination for soccer fans."

While football, basketball and baseball have long been popular in the United States, soccer has seen a fast-growing fan base over the last few years, particularly among the influential Hispanic demographic. According to Nielsen, soccer programming reaches more than 61% of Hispanic viewers and over 32% of overall television watchers.

"Interest in soccer has never been stronger; by launching a first-of-its-kind streaming network in the U.S. dedicated to soccer globally, CBS Sports Golazo Network provides a tremendous growth opportunity by delivering unprecedented, round-the-clock coverage for passionate soccer fans," Jeff Gerttula, the executive vice president of digital at CBS Sports, said in a statement. "CBS Sports Golazo Network capitalizes on our existing soccer rights by building free audiences around CBS Sports and Pluto TV platforms while driving new subscribers and enhancing the sports experience for Paramount Plus."

CBS Sports Golazo Network will begin broadcasting on Paramount+ and Pluto TV on April 11.