ESPN renews FA Cup rights ahead of City v Utd clash
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The Football Association (FA) has extended its media rights partnership with ESPN for the FA Cup, England’s knockout club football tournament.

Brokered by IMG, the FA’s US media partner, the renewal extends ESPN’s broadcasting rights to the FA Cup for the next four seasons. The outlet will cover the tournament from the 2024/25 to 2027/28 season, amounting to 79 matches per season.

Also included in the renewal is the FA Community Shield, the pre-season fixture contested between the winner of the FA Cup and the winner of the previous Premier League campaign, broadcast on ESPN+.

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Hillary Mandel, Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial, Americas for IMG’s media business, added: “The Emirates FA Cup remains a key event on ESPN+ and this deal demonstrates the ongoing appeal for one of soccer’s most prestigious cup competitions, which continues to grow. 

“We’re pleased to extend the successful partnership with ESPN so fans in the US can continue to watch their favourite teams and players.”

In addition to covering the matches, ESPN also plans for further content to be shown on ESPN+ and on its other platforms. Content will include preview and branded highlights shows and live coverage of cup draws, as well as studio news and information programmes.

ESPN has been a long-standing US media partner of the FA, having been the broadcaster of the Cup since the 2018/19 campaign. The outlet will broadcast this Saturday’s FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United, with the former seeking to defend its 2023 crown against its cross-city rival.

James Gray, The FA’s Commercial Director, added: “It’s an exciting time for soccer in the US, with the game’s growth evident for all to see, and the FIFA World Cup in North America on the horizon. 

“ESPN have been our valued partner for many years, so we’re really happy that they will continue to share the unique stories of the Emirates FA Cup with their audiences until 2028.”

The FA’s renewal with ESPN follows a shakeup of its media rights arrangements in the UK. The FA Cup has long been a free-to-air tournament for British audiences, but this is set to change.

From 2025/26 FA Cup coverage will be split between the BBC, the UK’s public service broadcaster and one of the traditional FTA partners of the tournament, and TNT Sports, one of the country’s pay-TV sports broadcasters.

The Cup is also subject to changes in ways other than just media rights, with the FA set to end the practice of replay matches. This has led to some criticism throughout the English football pyramid.

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