ESPN secures FA Cup rights from 2010-11 season
ESPN will show up to 25 FA Cup games live and exclusive in the United Kingdom from the 2010-11 season after agreeing a four-year deal with the Football Association.
As part of the deal, ESPN will also show the forthcoming Women's Super League and all home England Under-21 internationals. The FA Cup agreement includes one exclusive semi-final match and joint broadcasting of the FA Cup final along with ITV. All matches broadcast by ESPN will be available in High Definition.
ESPN will televise two matches in the first and second rounds (plus up to two replays per round), three matches from the third to fifth rounds (plus up to one replay), two quarter-finals (plus up to one replay) and one semi-final for each of the next four seasons.
Along with rights to the FA Cup, ESPN will also show all of the England Under-21 side's games on home soil. Further, following the launch of the Women's Super League in 2011, ESPN will have exclusive media rights for the new division.
Jeroen Oerlemans, Vice President & Channel Manager TV, ESPN Europe, Middle East & Africa, said: "The FA Cup is one of the great UK sports properties and will add to an already strong line-up of top-quality football on ESPN. We look forward to bringing these matches to our fans in brilliant HD. We are delighted to have been awarded these exclusive domestic rights, which are another significant step in growing our presence in the UK."
FA chief executive Ian Watmore added: "We are extremely pleased to have added ESPN to our list of broadcast partners. As a global broadcaster who have already demonstrated a strong presence in the UK, ESPN will give our football great visibility and we look forward to an excellent partnership with them. Whilst it's a very different market to two years ago, we have nevertheless taken our time and as a result have received some strong, credible bids."
For more information on subscribing to ESPN in the UK, visit www.ESPN.co.uk.