BBC Loses Exclusive FA Cup Radio Rights, Will Share With TalkSport
The BBC has "lost exclusive radio rights" to the FA Cup and will share the world's oldest domestic football competition for the first time with a commercial rival, TalkSport, according to John Plunkett of the London GUARDIAN. This will be "the first time" TalkSport has broadcast the FA Cup. The six-year deal also includes England-friendly internationals. UTV Media-owned TalkSport has also secured the rights to broadcast FA Cup games around the world "as part of its new global broadcast operation" due to launch at the beginning of next season. Thursday's announcement of the rights-sharing deal with TalkSport comes after the BBC, in the midst of a cost-cutting process aimed at saving £700M ($1B), said that it will "have to be ruthless over which sports rights it bids for in the future." The deal also marks the first time TalkSport will broadcast England games outside of the World Cup and European Championships. The BBC "retains the rights" to all England qualifying matches for the big tournaments. Unlike the sharing of TV football rights, where games are divided up between broadcasters, both BBC Radio 5 Live and TalkSport are "free to broadcast whichever games they choose, raising the prospect of going head to head" (GUARDIAN, 7/26).