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Free-to-air FA Cup matches to drop from 38 to 14 games a season despite new BBC deal

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Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 17:40:19 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 17:40:19

BBC will show two ties per round up to the quarter-finals plus one semi-final as well as the final Getty Images/Michael Regan Free-to-air FA Cup matches will plummet from 38 to 14 when the new deal begins next year, despite the BBC securing “co-exclusive” rights with TNT Sports

BBC will show two ties per round up to the quarter-finals plus one semi-final as well as the final

: Getty Images/Michael Regan

Free-to-air FA Cup matches will plummet from 38 to 14 when the new deal begins next year, despite the BBC securing “co-exclusive” rights with TNT Sports.

The BBC will show four fewer FA Cup matches a season despite beating ITV to solo terrestrial rights, and overall there will be a significant 63 per cent drop from 38 fixtures available in the current cycle from 2025-26.

The FA’s record £264 million deal with TNT included a stipulation that games in each round had to be made available on terrestrial TV, allowing the BBC and ITV to compete for secondary rights.

From 2025, the BBC will screen two FA Cup ties per round through to the quarter-finals, plus one semi-final and the final under the terms of a new agreement with main rights holder TNT.

The new deal with TNT initially prompted some consternation with matches moving behind a paywall but the contract, agreed in February, is understood to have represented a significant uplift.

TNT will get the first pick, with the BBC’s so-called “co-exclusive” matches being the second and fourth picks. The time slots associated with those picks are understood to still be under discussion. The BBC will also be able to air highlights and clips across its platforms, TNT confirmed.

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