ESPN International Secures South American Rights for FA Cup Through 2018
ESPN International and The FA have reached a six-year multimedia rights deal in South America for the FA Cup, England’s men’s national team and men’s U-21 team matches, and the annual FA Community Shield match. The deal includes rights across television, internet, broadband and mobile. The 2012-13 season starts Saturday, November 3.
Starting in November, ESPN International will cover up to 59 FA Cup matches per season – including exclusive coverage of the FA Cup Final. Coverage each season will include matches from the First Round Proper through the Sixth Round Proper, replay matches from each round, the Semi-Finals and the FA Cup Final. Matches will also stream live and on-demand on ESPNPlay.com in Spanish-speaking Latin America and on WatchESPN in Brazil.
Under the agreement, ESPN will also carry England’s men’s national team World Cup qualifier and friendly home matches including the upcoming qualifiers against Ukraine on September 11, which is England’s first qualification match on the road to Brazil; and San Marino on October 12. Additional matches will be telecast through 2013, including key matches against Poland and Scotland.
“We are delighted to announce our new partnership with ESPN in South America,” says the FA’s Head of Broadcast Mark Shannon. “The FA is aware of just how popular and well supported both The FA Cup and the England teams are in those regions and in ESPN have found a partner that shares that passion. ESPN’s already strong football portfolio makes it the perfect home, with the world’s oldest domestic cup competition now sitting side by side with the Champions League.”
Michael Walters, VP, programming, ESPN International adds: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to deliver the English National Team, The FA Cup and Community Shield to football fans in South America for six more seasons. The FA Cup is the world’s oldest football knockout tournament and a uniquely exciting competition with a rich heritage that reaches back more than 100 years and across all of English football. Each season, it features many of the biggest clubs in the world and delivers some of the greatest drama and storylines in global football as they face each other as well as lower division and non-league clubs. The FA package of premium football will continue to be an important part of ESPN’s programming lineup that includes the world’s best football leagues and many other top sports events from around the world.”
The agreement was brokered by Pitch International on behalf of The FA.