FA Cup: BBC to show live matches from 2014-15 season

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Wembley Stadium
Dyke and Hall welcome FA Cup deal

The BBC has secured a four-year shared rights deal with BT Sport that will see both broadcasters show the FA Cup from the start of the 2014-15 season.

BBC One will broadcast the competition, with live streaming available across online, mobile and tablet devices.

"Bringing the FA Cup back to the BBC was something I really wanted to do," said BBC director general Tony Hall.

"I am so pleased that we have achieved it for football fans everywhere," Hall added.

"There is something very special about big national moments on the BBC and the FA Cup should absolutely be one of them.

"The Olympics, Wimbledon and Glastonbury have shown how our audiences love it when we put the full weight of all our services on TV, radio and digital behind covering these events in depth and in ways no-one else can.

"Working closely with the FA I believe we will change the way we view the FA Cup forever."

The deal was announced at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.

Details of how many games will be shown live by the BBC have yet to be released. Radio coverage of the FA Cup also continues on BBC Radio 5 live until 2018.

Gary Lineker, who will lead the BBC presentation and was involved in the pitch to win the rights, said at Wembley: "It is terrific news. We have the European Championships, World Cup, Confederations Cup and we've got the Women's Euros 2013.

"These are summer events. In between Match of the Day is great with highlights every week, but this gives us regular, big live football on the BBC right throughout. It is so important and, vitally, fills a gap for us.

Great moments from the FA Cup

"It is just a great competition and it's great to have it back on the BBC.

"It will be across all platforms, across the board. We can deliver a big audience. It is the perfect fit."

BBC head of TV sport, Philip Bernie, said: "It is a wonderful fit between the BBC and the FA Cup - all that tradition, all that romance, all that drama.

"We're thrilled. We think it will provide great value for licence fee payers in the way the whole narrative of the FA Cup unfolds. We've had to work hard at it but we think it is something the BBC should have.

"It just shows how important sport is to the BBC and how those really big national events that sport brings, bringing the entire nation together, are so vital to make the BBC feel absolutely part of the nation's fabric and this is a prime example."

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT Retail said: "BT Sport made a determined joint bid to retain the FA Cup rights because we believe it is one of the truly great club football competitions.

"We are thrilled to bring our viewers the incredible stories of passion, and victories against all odds, that pepper the history of the competition."

New FA chairman Greg Dyke said the FA Cup final will continue to kick off at 17:15 BST, due to impressive viewing figures for recent finals with that start time.

Dyke and Hall welcome FA Cup deal

"The final will continue to be held in late afternoon, which is where it's been moved to," Dyke declared.

"I'm certainly happy with that because if you look at the viewing figures for the past two FA Cup finals they were much bigger than they would have been had the match kicked off at 3pm. The world changed and we had to change with it."

Dyke, the BBC's director general from 2000 to 2004, added: "I would like to thank everyone who expressed an interest in these FA Cup broadcast rights and congratulate the BBC and BT Sport on their successful tenders.

"Their valuable support underlines what a great competition the FA Cup is and how important it is to the sporting calendar.

"ITV have done a tremendous job in recent years and we look forward to their fantastic continued support of the England team.

"The BBC is obviously an organisation I know very well but I don't think anyone would dispute that their name goes hand in hand with some of the most famous FA Cup moments of yesteryear.

"We're delighted that the competition is back on their channels, not just through television but with significant online presence as well."


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