ITV scored extension of FA Cup and England football dealJoseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 17-01-2012
Fending off the BBC to screen the world’s oldest football competition, ITV has signed a new two-year deal with The Football Association (FA) for the broadcast rights to the pick of The FA Cup and England internationals.
As part of the new agreement with The FA, ITV will broadcast up to 16 live games across each season in addition to comprehensive highlights from every round. It will continue to broadcast the first pick of FA Cup games throughout the season from the First Round to The Final; as well as the third choice game pick in the Fifth and Sixth Rounds and the fourth choice pick in the Third and Fourth Rounds. ITV1 will also have first choice of replays from the Third to Sixth Rounds.
Such rights have proved hugely lucrative for ITV this football season with Third round throwing up the derby between Manchester City and Manchester United which drew huge audiences and a Fourth Round draw which will see the successful Red Devils meet arch rivals Liverpool at the home of England’s most successful football club.
On the international front, ITV will also continue to be the free-to-air home of England internationals including all home qualifying games for the FIFA 2014 World Cup and all home and away friendlies during the two year period. Away qualifiers, sold by opposition associations, do not fall under this FA agreement and have traditionally been swept up by Sky who is able to outbid potential competitors.
All broadcast rights across the new term are platform neutral and live matches, highlights and clips will be available on ITV.com and the ITV Player.
Commenting on the deal, Stuart Turner, FA Group Commercial Director said: “We enjoy a great relationship with ITV and this extension to our agreement underlines that. Having The FA Cup and England alongside other ITV content such as the UEFA Champions League and World Cups shows that our football content holds its own in exalted company. It further confirms ITV's position as the home of free-to-air live football.”