Sky, BBC, ITV, BT bid for FA Cup rights

A bidding war for the TV rights to the UK FA Cup seems on after four broadcasters bid to the Football Association in the first round.

BT (having acquired the rights from ESPN earlier this year) and ITV currently share the rights to the FA Cup until the end of the 2013-14 season. Both have submitted bids for the next set of rights, which run for the next three seasons to 2017-18. According to the FT, the two companies have been joined by Sky and the BBC.

In January 2012, ITV acquired free-to-air broadcast rights for 16 FA Cup games per season, as well as some of Englandís home qualifying games, for an annual cost of £43 million (Ä50m).