BSkyB, BBC Join ITV, BT In 'Fierce' Bidding War For FA Cup TV Rights
A "fierce bidding war" for the TV rights to the FA Cup "looks likely after four broadcasters submitted bids" to the FA in the first round, according to Robert Budden of the FINANCIAL TIMES. BT and ITV "currently share the rights" to the FA Cup until the end of the '13-14 season. On Friday, both "submitted bids for the next set of rights, which run through the '17-18 season." Citing people with knowledge of the process, the two companies have been joined by BSkyB and the BBC "in a development, which analysts predict could significantly push up the cost of the rights." Analysts said that the BBC "had decided to table a bid as it looks to increase the amount of live football on the public service broadcaster’s TV schedules." Industry newsletter TV Sports Markets Editor Frank Dunne said, "We understand that the BBC is concerned about its lack of live football during the regular football season." But analysts expect that BT and BSkyB "will bid most aggressively for the rights" (FT, 6/17).