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The Drum

FA secures international broadcast deal with Pitch International and IMG to make the Emirates FA Cup a global sporting event

The FA Cup's global appeal set to surge following new international broadcast deal

The marketing and sponsorship appeal of the FA Cup is expected to grow significantly after the Football Association (FA) agreed a new broadcast rights deal with Pitch International and IMG to show the tournament globally.

In a deal which the FA has hailed as “hugely significant”, The Emirates FA Cup will now have a greater international reach after Pitch International purchased the broadcast rights for western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and IMG acquired the rights for the rest of the world.

The new agreement covers the six seasons from 2018/19 to 2023/24 and is the first deal under the FA’s new rights strategy which allows agencies as well as broadcasters to bid on single territories, regional groupings or a global package of rights during the tender process.

Financial terms have not been disclosed, however reports suggest the deal could be worth around £1bn over the six-year period. The rights included in the packages purchased include The Emirates FA Cup, The FA Community Shield and The FA Youth Cup.

Domestic broadcast rights remain unaffected with the BBC and BT Sport having agreements in place until 2021.

Martin Glenn, FA chief executive, described the deal as “hugely significant” and said the funds would allow it to “invest even more than we currently do in pitches, facilities and participation programmes to make football available for all”.

"It is not overstating it to say that it could have a transformational impact on what we are able to achieve across the country,” continued Glenn. It also underlines the global popularity of The Emirates FA Cup, with its history and tradition it has the remarkable ability to create fantastic stories and inspire fans, players and clubs to believe anything is possible.

He added: "We are extremely grateful to Pitch International and IMG for recognising the value of this wonderful competition – as we are to our other cup partners – and their support will have a direct and lasting impact in helping us to grow the grassroots and making sure football is for all."

Michael Mellor, senior vice president and head of football for IMG Media, said: "English football is extremely popular all over the globe and in The Emirates FA Cup we have the most prestigious domestic cup competition in the world, which every year manages to provide magical moments and outstanding entertainment for broadcasters and viewers."

Jon Owen, founding partner, Pitch International added: "Our partnership with The FA dates back over two decades and we are delighted to extend this to 2024. We take great pride in representing the world’s oldest cup competition. It is a unique event that richly deserves its place in the sporting calendar.

"We are confident that by continuing to work together we will deliver ongoing success for The FA and its media partners for many years to come."

The new deal illustrates the growing global dominance of top flight football in England which has saw a major shakeup of the Premier League intended to grow the value of the brand globally.