Champion bids begin to roll in

World Brief

European soccer’s governing body UEFA and Team, the marketing body that handles the rights sales, received the first tenders for the Champions League on Wednesday.

UEFA hopes to raise more than £400 million ($626 million) annually from TV and sponsorship. Commercial broadcaster ITV paid an estimated $94 million per year for the previous four-year deal, now in its final season.

UEFA kicked off the bidding in the U.K., where Champions League soccer games pull an average audience of 7 million.

Four English clubs — Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle — have qualified for the first round of playoffs, which could boost the price paid for the rights.

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