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BBC and BT to show live FA Cup games until 2021

Wednesday, April 13th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The BBC and BT Sport have retained the rights to show live FA Cup matches until 2021.

The broadcasters have agreed a three-year extension to their current deal with the FA, it was announced yesterday.

Gary Lineker will continue to lead the BBC’s coverage, while BT Sport will broadcast more FA Cup games than ever before from 2018/19.

BT will show an extra live match in rounds 1-5 of the competition, covering up to 30 matches exclusively live each season.

BT Sport will continue to show England U17, U19 and U21 matches exclusively live.

The new deal will also see an increase in the number of women’s matches shown on TV.

The BBC will broadcast live coverage of international qualifiers, the Women’s FA Cup final, one England Women’s friendly game per season and highlights of The FA Women’s Super League.

BT Sport will continue to show live Super League matches and from 2018 will have both Women’s FA Cup semi-finals as well as the final. It will also show England Senior Women’s home friendlies.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said: “The Emirates FA Cup has enjoyed record viewing figures, with 7m alone watching Tottenham’s third round tie against Leicester City, outstripping all viewing figures for club matches in England this season, both domestically and in Europe.

“It is a competition loved not only in this country but throughout the world, as demand for broadcast rights globally highlight.

“The competition is all about the success of the underdog, and this season has seen some more fantastic stories.

'Closer to the action'

“The money clubs win can make a hugely positive impact both on and off the pitch and we’re very proud to have distributed £25m to clubs via the prize fund and broadcast fees this season.”

Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: “We are delighted to retain the rights to broadcast the most famous domestic cup competition in the world on free-to-air TV.

“The renewed deal will bring audiences closer to the action than ever before via an innovative digital offering across all platforms, and showcase our commitment to the women’s game.”

Delia Bushell, managing director of BT TV and BT Sport, added: “The FA Cup is a fantastic competition which is loved the world over, and we are delighted to be extending our partnership with the FA.

“We will continue to support the FA with more live matches and ground-breaking Ultra HD and digital coverage.

“BT Sport audiences are up nearly 50% this season, which demonstrates how popular our coverage has become with sports fans.”

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