Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

BBC and BT Sport in FA Cup deal

The BBC and BT Sport are to share the rights to broadcast the FA Cup under a new four-year deal which kicks off next year.

The Football Association announced the deal, which sees the rights move from ITV after a number of years.

BBC director-general Tony Hall said: "Bringing the FA Cup back to the BBC was something I really wanted to do and I am so pleased that we have achieved it for football fans everywhere."

Under the deal, ITV will have exclusive rights for England internationals from next year. The BBC's FA Cup programming will be led by Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker and the corporation said coverage will be available on TV and there will also be live streaming online and on mobile devices. The competition will be returning to the BBC for the first time since 2008.

Presenter Jake Humphrey will head BT Sport's coverage. The firm is already due to show live matches from the cup in the forthcoming season along with live Barclays Premier League matches.

New FA chairman Greg Dyke said: "I would like to thank everyone who expressed an interest in these FA Cup broadcast rights and congratulate the BBC and BT Sport on their successful tenders. Their valuable support underlines what a great competition the FA Cup is and how important it is to the sporting calendar.

"ITV have done a tremendous job in recent years and we look forward to their fantastic continued support of the England team. The BBC is obviously an organisation I know very well but I don't think anyone would dispute that their name goes hand in hand with some of the most famous FA Cup moments of yesteryear. We're delighted that the competition is back on their channels, not just through television but with significant online presence as well.

"BT Sport might be new to television, but they're a major corporation and have been a part of everyday British life for a number of decades. They have millions of customers and are shaping up to be a heavyweight player in the broadcasting world, so the FA Cup is a fantastic asset for their growing portfolio of sports."

The deal was announced at Wembley Stadium. Mr Hall added: "There is something very special about big national moments on the BBC, and the FA Cup should absolutely be one of them. The Olympics, Wimbledon and Glastonbury have shown how our audiences love it when we put the full weight of all our services on TV, radio and digital behind covering these events in depth and in ways no one else can. Working closely with the FA, I believe we will change the way we view the FA Cup forever."

Gavin Patterson, chief executive of BT Retail, said the FA Cup is "one of the truly great club football competitions". He went on: "We are thrilled to bring our viewers the incredible stories of passion, and victories against all odds, that pepper the history of the competition. We will be fielding a superb line-up of presenting talent to showcase and analyse all of the action."


From Belfast Telegraph