ESPN has agreed a deal with The Football Association (FA) for the broadcast rights in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands to a number of matches over the next six seasons, reports SportsPro.
The multi-platform agreement, brokered by Pitch International, includes television, internet, broadband and mobile rights to The FA Cup, matches played by the England men’s Senior and Under-21 teams, and the season-opening FA Community Shield sponsored by McDonald's.
Starting in November, ESPN will televise up to 59 FA Cup matches per season – including exclusive coverage of the FA Cup final. Coverage will include matches from the first round proper through to the sixth round, replay matches from each round, the semi-finals and the final.
The broadcaster will also stream all matches live and on-demand on ESPN3.com for Foxtel subscribers.
The FA's head of broadcast Mark Shannon said: "We are delighted to announce our new partnership with ESPN in Australia and New Zealand. The FA is aware of just how popular and well supported both The FA Cup and the England teams are in those regions and in ESPN have found a partner that shares that passion.”
Michael Walters, vice president of programming at ESPN international, added: "The FA Cup is the world’s oldest football knockout tournament, making it a truly unique competition with a rich heritage that reaches back more than 100 years and across all of English football.”
“Every year, it delivers some of the greatest drama and storylines in global football, and captures the passion of sport. It will be a great addition to ESPN's expanding schedule that includes some of the world’s best football and top sports events from around the world."