ITV has agreed a new two-year deal with The Football Association 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 1st round to the final; as well as the third choice game pick in the 5th and 6th rounds and the fourth choice pick in the 3rd and 4th rounds. ITV1 will also have first choice of replays from the 3rd to 6th rounds. In total ITV will broadcast up to sixteen 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 said: “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 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.”
All broadcast rights across the new term are platform neutral and live matches, highlights and clips will be available on ITV.com and the ITV Player.
The Football Association announced last week that it has awarded its European broadcast rights for the 2012-2018 period to sports marketing agency Pitch International. The deal grants Pitch the exclusive right to distribute matches from FA competitions and home England internationals from the beginning of the 2012/13 season throughout Europe.
The agreement does not include England home qualification matches for the 2014-18 period, as these will be centrally marketed by UEFA.
The deal sees The Football Association extend its long-running relationship with Pitch International, The FA’s current partner in selected countries in Europe and Australasia alongside brokering The FA’s relationship with Middle Eastern broadcaster, Al-Jazeera. In addition, Pitch manages The FA’s footage archive and the technical and satellite requirements of The FA’s international broadcast partners.