ESPN Will Exclusively Air The FA Cup In Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands
ESPN has inked a deal with the English Football Association for rights to broadcast the FA Cup in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, according to THE AUSTRALIAN. The six-year deal includes an agreement that the FA Cup Final will not be seen on free-to-air TV in Australia. The deal also includes the right to broadcast matches by England’s men’s national team, its men’s U-21 team matches and the annual FA Community Shield match. It "shores up ESPN's football offering in Australia bundled with" its ongoing UEFA Champions League agreement until '15, and is a major blow to independent subscription TV broadcaster Setanta Sports, which previously aired the FA Cup in Australia. Like ESPN's Champions League deal, the FA agreement also includes rights across TV, Internet, broadband and mobile. ESPN will televise up to 59 FA Cup matches per season, including an exclusive deal to broadcast the FA Cup Final, which has previously been simulcast on free-to-air channel SBS One. All matches will also be streamed live and on-demand on ESPN3.com for Foxtel subscribers (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/16).