October 25 – The English FA has confirmed an £820 million six-season international broadcast rights deal for its FA Cup domestic competition, the oldest club competition in world football.
The deal, with Pitch International for western Europe rights and IMG for Middle east and Africa rights, starts with the 2018-19 season and will go through to 2023-24.]
The rights had been offered via a tender process that allowed agencies and broadcasters to bid on single territories, regional groupings or a global package of rights.
FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn said: “This is a hugely significant deal for The FA as a not-for-profit organisation. It means we will be able to invest even more than we currently do in pitches, facilities and participation programmes to make football available for all.
“It is not overstating it to say that it could have a transformational impact on what we are able to achieve across the country.”
Emphasising the increased impact the new deal with have on grassroots football in England, Glenn said that “by the time we get to the Wembley showpiece next May, more than £30m will have been distributed to competing clubs this season, from the amateur game right through to the elite level.”
Jon Owen, Founding Partner of Pitch International, said: “Our partnership with The FA dates back over two decades and we are delighted to extend this to 2024. We take great pride in representing the world’s oldest cup competition. It is a unique event that richly deserves its place in the sporting calendar. “
Owen is a little sketchy with his re-writing of history as the rights have not been with Pitch for two decades as they were previously with CSI and then followed through to Octagon with the sale of CSI. Pitch was formed by a staff breakaway from Octagon that ended up securing key rights the same staff had been selling while at Octagon.
UK rights for the FA Cup returned to the BBC after a six-year absence for the 2014-15 season in a shared-rights deal with BT Sport.
The BBC has signed a three-year extension to the deal to show the FA Cup until 2021, again in a shared deal with BT Sport.
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