ESPN lands FA Cup rights from next season

LONDON - Disney-backed ESPN continues to expand its live British sports presence, picking up the rights to show the FA Cup live in the UK from next season.

ESPN: FA Cup rights announcement close
ESPN: FA Cup rights announcement close

It is understood that a deal is in place between Disney-backed ESPN and the Football Association. However, an official announcement is not expected until later today (8 December).

ESPN declined to comment on the FA Cup rights, but said: "As we have always said, we continue to be interested in rights where they are available and where they make business sense.

"Our approach is to grow globally and we will achieve that by being as locally relevant as possible."

The deal will be welcomed at the FA, which had faced an income shortfall of millions of pounds following the collapse of Setanta earlier this year, which had held the FA Cup rights.

However, the ESPN deal will not kick in until the start of next season. So, in the meantime, it is thought that the FA will continue to sell the rights to games on a round-by-round basis. In previous rounds of this year's tournament, the FA has sold one game to ITV and another shown online.

In 2007, Setanta and ITV paid £425m for the rights over the coming four seasons. Previously, the rights were split between the BBC and Sky.

The deal is a coup for ESPN, which this year has built up its first major live British sports rights portfolio.

It is thought to have spent hundreds of millions of pounds acquiring its first live English Premier League TV rights in the UK as well as rights for the Scottish Premier League, numerous continental European football leagues and other sports such as rugby and cricket.

The new FA Cup rights will also bolster its appeal to sports fans: from next season, the number of English Premier League it will air in the UK will halve, from 46 this season, to 23.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Steve Ballmer quits Microsoft board less than six months after resigning as CEO

Steve Ballmer quits Microsoft board less than six months after resigning as CEO

Former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer has quit the board less than half a year after leaving the chief executive post, ending his 34-year tenure at the technology group.

Share
Celebrity Big Brother returns with 2.9m viewers

Celebrity Big Brother returns with 2.9m viewers

'Celebrity Big Brother's' return to Channel 5 delivered a peak audience of 2.9 million viewers last night, according to unofficial overnight figures.

Share
Canadian coffee store Tim Hortons blacks out premises to promote Dark Roast

Canadian coffee store Tim Hortons blacks out premises to promote Dark Roast

Canadian coffee drinkers were shocked to find their local branch of Tim Hortons coffee shop completely blacked out, with everything from the exterior to the cars parked outside covered in black material - all part of a stunt to promote the brand's new Dark Roast coffee brew.

Share

Get news by email