BBC strikes four-season renewal for FA Cup

The BBC has agreed a new four-season domestic broadcast deal with the English Football Association for the FA Cup.

The agreement will start at the beginning of the 2021-22 season and will see the domestic cup competition shown free-to-air across the public-service broadcaster’s channels. It includes live match coverage, highlights and clip rights for each season until 2024-2025.

The BBC will air up to 18 live matches across the competition each season, an increase on the previous deal, with up to six live matches from the first and second rounds of the contest available to broadcast.

The BBC has held free-to-air rights to the competition since 2014. The most recent deal, which runs from 2018-19 to 2020-2021 is part of a joint agreement alongside BT Sport.

The FA Cup is a big draw for the British broadcaster. February’s FA Cup fifth-round clash between Manchester United and Chelsea reached more than 8.1 million viewers, making it the most watched domestic match of the season, according to the BBC.