The BBC and BT Sport sign four-year deal to show The FA Cup
The FA Cup is set to be shared between the BBC and BT Sport from 2014 after both broadcasters signed a four-year shared rights deal with the FA.
The deal, confirmed in a joint announcement at Wembley Stadium today (Wednesday 17 July), sees the competition return to free-to-view TV on BBC One and BT Sport, which is free with BT broadband.
“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,” remarked BBC director general Tony Hall.
Stalwart Gary Lineker will lead the BBC’s programming which will aim to bring together the tradition and heritage of The Cup with the technological innovation BBC audiences have now come to expect of the broadcaster following its coverage of the Olympic Games and Wimbledon.
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Coverage will be available on TV, online, mobile and tablet with live streaming across all devices. A raft of support programming with top presenters is also part of the BBC’s coverage plans and adds to the BBC’s football portfolio which includes Match of the Day and the Football League Show.
Hall added: “There is something very special about big national moments on the BBC and the FA Cup should absolutely be one of them...Working closely with the FA I believe we will change the way we view the FA Cup forever.”
BT Sport’s Jake Humphrey leads its coverage from the company’s studios at Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford. BT Sport is already due to show live matches from The FA Cup’s 2013-14 season along with Barclays Premier League matches and a range of other footballing clashes from top tier leagues around the world.
Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail, commented: “Working closely with the FA I believe we will change the way we view the FA Cup forever. 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, congratulated the BBC and BT Sport on the win and thanked ITV for its “tremendous job in recent years”. Of the agreement he said: “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.”