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ESPN secures four-year deal to broadcast FA Cup matches

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ESPN secures four-year deal to broadcast FA Cup matches

Post by Fabregas04 on Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:15 am

The Football Association has agreed a four-year deal with ESPN to broadcast FA Cup ties from 2010 for about £70m.

The deal fills the void created by the demise of Setanta, which went into administration in June.

ESPN will broadcast up to 25 FA Cup games live, including one exclusive semi-final, with the final broadcast simultaneously on both ESPN and ITV.

The deal will sit alongside an existing contract for the FA Cup and England games to be screened on ITV until 2012.

The new contract also includes rights to show all England Under-21 home fixtures and the forthcoming women's Super League, which launches in 2011.

"We are extremely pleased to have added ESPN to our list of broadcast partners," said FA chief executive Ian Watmore.

"As a global broadcaster, who have already demonstrated a strong presence in the UK, ESPN will give our football great visibility and we look forward to an excellent partnership with them.

"Whilst it's a very different market to two years ago, we have nevertheless taken our time and as a result have received some strong, credible bids."

This season's competition, which sees Premier League sides enter in the third-round stage on 2 January, will continue to be broadcast on ITV, who will show three live games from the third to fifth round - one additional game - and all games from the quarter-final stage onwards.

The additional games broadcast by ITV had been due to be shown by Setanta, which collapsed in June, one year into a four-year deal worth in the region of £150m.

Alongside their coverage of the FA Cup, ITV will continue to broadcast all England home qualifying matches through until the end of the 2011-12 season as well as home and away friendly internationals (home friendlies were previously held by Setanta).

Meanwhile, FATV will continue to broadcast one or two games per round up to the fifth round via the Football Association's official website and will continue to host games online in the future as the project expands.

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