BBC, BT Extend FA Cup Rights


LONDON: The BBC and BT Sport will continue their coverage of the FA Cup until 2021 following a three-year extension of their shared deal with the FA for rights to the football tournament.

Gary Lineker will continue to lead coverage on the BBC, which will include TV, radio and digital platforms.

There will also be an increased commitment to women’s football from both the BBC and BT. BBC will deliver live coverage of international qualifiers, the Women’s FA Cup final, plus one England Women’s friendly match per season alongside additional live matches and The FA Women’s Super League highlights. BT Sport will remain the exclusive live broadcaster of The FA Women’s Super League and, from 2018, will show both Women’s FA Cup semi-finals, the Women’s FA Cup Final and England Senior Women’s home friendlies.

“The Emirates FA Cup has enjoyed record viewing figures, with 7 million alone watching Tottenham’s Third Round tie against Leicester City, outstripping all viewing figures for club matches in England this season, both domestically and in Europe,” said Martin Glenn, FA CEO. “It is a competition loved not only in this country but throughout the world, as demand for broadcast rights globally highlight. The competition is all about the success of the underdog, and this season has seen some more fantastic stories. The money clubs win can make a hugely positive impact both on and off the pitch and we’re very proud to have distributed £25 million to clubs via the prize fund and broadcast fees this season. We are excited to continue this association, and look forward to sharing new ideas and breaking new ground in the coming years in the world’s oldest and most loved domestic cup competition.”

“We are delighted to retain the rights to broadcast the most famous domestic cup competition in the world on free-to-air TV,” said Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport. “The renewed deal will bring audiences closer to the action than ever before via an innovative digital offering across all platforms, and showcase our commitment to the women’s game. FA Cup coverage on the BBC will continue to unite the nation through must-see sporting moments, captivating audiences of all ages.”

Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and BT Sport, noted, “The FA Cup is a fantastic competition which is loved the world over, and we are delighted to be extending our partnership with the FA. We will continue to support the FA with more live matches and groundbreaking Ultra HD and digital coverage. BT Sport audiences are up nearly 50 percent this season, which demonstrates how popular our coverage has become with sports fans. We’re proud to be the only place to follow all the best football competitions: The FA Cup, Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.”