BBC, BT Sport secure FA Cup rights for 2014-18
The BBC and BT Sport have landed a four-year shared rights deal that will see both broadcasters become home to The FA Cup from 2014. The Football Association confirmed the deal in a joint announcement at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday. It will see the return of what the two broadcasters charmingly label ‘the most romantic club competition in world football’ free to view on BBC One and on BT Sport, which is free with BT broadband.
In the case of the BBC, all of the action will be available on TV, online, mobile and tablet with live streaming across all devices allowing audiences to capture every moment of the journey.
For BT Sport, it’s a further addition to an extensive roll-call of football rights that includes live matches from The FA Cup in the 2013-14 season as well as live Barclays Premier League matches.
“Bringing the FA Cup back to the BBC was something I really wanted to do and I am so pleased that we have achieved it for football fans everywhere,” says BBC director-general Tony Hall. “There is something very special about big national moments on the BBC and the FA Cup should absolutely be one of them. The Olympics, Wimbledon and Glastonbury have shown how our audiences love it when we put the full weight of all our services on TV, radio and digital behind covering these events in depth and in ways no one else can. Working closely with the FA I believe we will change the way we view the FA Cup forever.”
Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Retail, adds: “BT Sport made a determined joint bid to retain The FA Cup rights because we believe it is one of the truly great club football competitions.
“We are thrilled to bring our viewers the incredible stories of passion, and victories against all odds, that pepper the history of the competition. These include Leeds United being humbled by Second Division Sunderland in the 1973 final, right up to May this year, when unfancied Wigan Athletic defeated Manchester City at Wembley.
“We will be fielding a superb line up of presenting talent to showcase and analyse all of the action. And because BT Sport is free with BT broadband on BT TV, online or via satellite we are confident that we can reach a large audience rapidly.”