The BBC and BT Sport have secured a four year shared rights deal that will see both broadcasters become home to The FA Cup from 2014.
The Football Association, marking its 150th anniversary this year, confirmed the deal in a joint announcement at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday. It will see the return of the most romantic club competition in world football free to view on BBC One and on BT Sport, which is free with BT broadband.
Led by Gary Lineker, the BBC’s programming will bring together the tradition and heritage of The Cup with the technological innovation BBC audiences have come to expect. All of the action will be available on TV, online, mobile and tablet with live streaming across all devices allowing audiences to capture every moment of the journey.
Combined with a raft of support programming and a top name presentation team The FA Cup will become an integral part of the BBC One schedule.
The FA Cup will be a great addition to the BBC's strong TV football portfolio, centered on the nation's favourite football programme, Match of the Day, showcasing the best of the Barclays Premier League every week; the Football League Show, with action from every game in the Football League; the current UEFA Women's Euro; and the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In addition BBC Radio 5 live will this season broadcast live football commentary of 128 Premier League games; The FA Cup; the League Cup; Champions League and Europa League.
Jake Humphrey will lead BT Sport’s coverage from the company’s ground breaking new studios in the Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford. BT Sport is already due to show live matches from The FA Cup in the 2013-14 season along with live Barclays Premier League matches and a range of top class football from top tier leagues across the world.
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.
“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, CEO, BT Retail: said: “BT Sport made a determined joint bid to retain The FA Cup rights because we believe it is one of the truly great club football competitions.
“We are thrilled to bring our viewers the incredible stories of passion, and victories against all odds, that pepper the history of the competition. These include Leeds United being humbled by Second Division Sunderland in the 1973 final, right up to May this year, when unfancied Wigan Athletic defeated Manchester City at Wembley.
“We will be fielding a superb line up of presenting talent to showcase and analyse all of the action. And because BT Sport is free with BT broadband on BT TV, online or via satellite we are confident that we can reach a large audience rapidly.”
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.”
BT Sport will show 38 exclusively live football matches from the Barclays Premier League, including 18 of the ‘top picks’ from August 2013 for three seasons. The channels will also show live FA Cup in the 2013/14 season, UEFA Europa League, top tier live football from Scotland, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Australia and the USA, plus action from the FA Women’s Super League and 30 live matches from the Football Conference.
About The FA
Supporting football since 1863 - The FA is the not-for-profit, governing body of football in England. It grows participation, promotes diversity and regulates the sport for everyone to enjoy.
Seven million players of all ages, 400,000 volunteers, 300,000 coaches and 27,000 qualified referees help The FA keep the grassroots game going.
The FA runs 24 England teams, across men’s, women’s, youth and disability football, utilising the world-class facilities of Wembley Stadium and St. George’s Park.
Football is the nation’s favourite game. The FA aims to grow it further in 2013.
To find out more about events in The Football Association’s 150th year, and to get involved in football, visit www.TheFA.com and follow @FA