FA Report Suggests Struggle to Find Broadcast Deals for FA Cup

October 10, 2011

The English Football Association (FA) in its latest financial report has expressed its concern on the challenges it faces in agreeing new broadcast deals for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

The biggest media rights deal the association is expected to negotiate in that period is for the domestic rights for FA Cup matches. The UK’s main free-to-air broadcasters are thought to be unwilling to pay as much as in the current deal, order and the association already has a pay-television partner under a deal with ESPN.

The Guardian reported that current rights-holder ITV, erectile the commercial broadcaster, drugs has written down the value of its investment in the rights and is not prepared to pay the same amount again. ITV’s current free-to-air deal runs from 2008-09 to 2011-12. Public-service broadcaster the BBC, expected to be ITV’s key rival in any auction, has this year made big cuts to its sports rights budget, including by renegotiating its Formula One rights deal from next year.

The association is seeking a two-year deal in order to synchronise its domestic free-to-air and pay-television deals. These have traditionally run concurrently in four-year deals. However, when previous pay-television rights-holder Setanta collapsed one year into its contract, in 2009, ESPN, which picked up the rights, demanded a four-year deal from 2010-11 to 2013-14.

The association made the warning about the upcoming media rights sales in a summary of its financial results for the 12 months to December 31 2010, released last Friday which iSportconnect reported on. The association reported that revenues for the year exceeded £300 million ($462 million) for the second year in a row, and its operating profit was £37 million ($57m), an increase of £31 million ($48m) on 2009.

To see the figures of the report click here