FA Cup set to be exclusively free to air for first time since 1988

Yahoo Sport UK
A television camera filming the action during The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on April 21, 2018.
A television camera filming the action during The Emirates FA Cup Semi Final between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on April 21, 2018.

The FA Cup is set to be exclusively free to air for the first in over 30 years from the 2021-2022 season.

In a deal that has yet to be officially confirmed, ITV will join the BBC as the joint rights holders in a four-year deal. ITV will be taking over BT Sport’s rights to the competition, which they have held since 2014 and currently share with the BBC.

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The last time the two broadcasters shared the rights to the competition was between 1955 and 1988.

It is set to increase the viewing figures with both broadcasters showing the final.

The last FA Cup final to be shown on both was between Liverpool and Wimbledon - the Crazy Gang coming out 1-0 winners in front of 98,000 fans at Wembley. Lawrie Sanchez scored the winner in the first half of the game.

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It is believed the BBC would have the rights to broadcast up to 18 live matches a season, while ITV will broadcast up to 30 games a season.

Setanta, ESPN and BT Sport have all shared coverage with the BBC, while ITV last showed matches from the competition in 2014.

Watford take on Premier League winners Manchester City in the final of this year’s competition, which takes place this Saturday.

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