ITV Extends Broadcast Deal for FA Cup Rights & England Internationals

January 17, 2012

British free-to-air broadcaster ITV has agreed a new two-year deal with The Football Association (FA) for the broadcast rights to the pick of The FA Cup and England internationals, including home qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup, from the 2012-13 to 2013-14 seasons.

As part of the new agreement with The FA, ITV1 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. In total, ITV will broadcast up to 16 live games across each season in addition to comprehensive highlights from every round.

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 are sold by opposition associations and therefore do not fall under this FA agreement.

The football season’s traditional curtain raiser, The FA Community Shield, will also return to free-to-air television in 2012 and 2013 under the new deal. ITV will also extend its commitment with The FA across the two seasons to encompass live coverage of six games from The FA Youth Cup on ITV4, including the Semi-Finals and Final of the competition.

ITV Director of Television, Peter Fincham said: “The FA Cup and England internationals are events with huge resonance and appeal for our viewers. I’m delighted that we are extending our partnership with The FA and that ITV1 will continue to be the home of live football on free-to-air television.”

Stuart Turner, FA Group Commercial Director added: “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.”

In this season’s Third Round, fans came out in force to demonstrate their love for The Cup. The 32 ties attracted a total attendance of 581,949, giving an average per match of 18,185, which is the highest since the 1980-81 season.