BT Sport have enhanced their football coverage with another massive acquisition after securing a four-year shared rights deal to become home to The FA Cup from 2014.
The most romantic club competition in world football will be shown on BT Sport for the next five years after the broadcaster retained the rights in a joint bid with the BBC.
The Football Association, marking its 150th anniversary this year, confirmed the deal in a joint announcement at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.
The deal will see the return of the FA Cup, a national favourite which draws in 30m viewers a year, free to view on BBC One and on BT Sport, which is free with BT broadband.
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."
Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Retail
Up to 25 exclusively live FA Cup matches will be shown on BT Sport from 2014 including the final, which will be shared with the BBC. The deal also includes the FA Community Shield and FA Trophy.
BT Sport already has the rights to show live matches from The FA Cup for the 2013-14 season along with live Barclays Premier League games and a range of top class football from top tier leagues across the world.
Jake Humphrey will lead the coverage from the company’s ground breaking new studios in the Queen Elizabeth Park, Stratford.
Gavin Patterson, CEO, BT Retail: said: “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.”
New FA Chairman, Greg Dyke, said: “I would like to thank everyone who expressed an interest in these FA Cup broadcast rights and congratulate the BBC and BT Sport on their successful tenders.
“Their valuable support underlines what a great competition The FA Cup is and how important it is to the sporting calendar.
“BT Sport might be new to television but they’re a major corporation and have been a part of everyday British life for a number of decades.
“They have millions of customers and are shaping up to be a heavyweight player in the broadcasting world so The FA Cup is a fantastic asset for their growing portfolio of sports.”
BT Sport will show 38 exclusively live football matches from the Barclays Premier League, including 18 of the ‘top picks’ from August 2013 for three seasons. The channels will also show live FA Cup in the 2013/14 season, UEFA Europa League, top tier live football from Scotland, Germany, Italy, France, Brazil, Australia and the USA, plus action from the FA Women’s Super League and 30 live matches from the Football Conference.