ITV and BBC to share coverage for first time in more than thirty years

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The FA Cup is to return in its entirety to free-to-air TV in 2021 with ITV joining the BBC as the TV rights holder.

ITV has won the broadcast rights currently held by BT Sport in a four-year deal - its first since its contract to share rights with BT Sport ended in 2014.

ITV and BBC last shared exclusive rights to the FA Cup in 1988, with the BBC then briefly going it alone prior to the involvement of broadcasters such as Sky Sports in the early 1990s.

ITV will show live coverage of more than 20 matches each season from 2021/22 through to 2024/25, and the deal also includes live coverage of The FA Community Shield each year.

Sharing coverage with the BBC, ITV will have first pick and fourth pick of matches in the Second Round, Fourth Round and the Quarter Finals, as well as second and third picks for the First, Third and Fifth Rounds and second pick of the Semi-finals.

Niall Sloane, ITV director of sport, said: “We are delighted to be able to broadcast the FA Cup once again. We are particularly pleased that we shared The FA’s vision of a completely free-to-air competition and look forward to bringing new viewers all along the road to Wembley Stadium.”

Mark Bullingham, FA chief commercial & football development officer, said: “The Emirates FA Cup continues to capture the public’s imagination, drawing millions of viewers at every stage. This agreement with ITV is fantastic news and means that we will reach the broadest possible audience across the country.

“ITV has been a great broadcast partner with the England Men’s Internationals and will do a brilliant job with the coverage of the world’s most historic cup competition.”

The new deal adds to ITV Sport’s portfolio of sports events, which includes exclusive free-to-air coverage of the England football team’s qualifiers for both the European Championship and World Cup, La Liga, the 6 Nations and exclusive coverage of the Rugby World Cup, the Tour de France and the French Open.