ESPN renews FA Cup rights in the US until 2028

Disney-owned sports entertainment giant ESPN has renewed its media rights for the FA Cup in the US for the next four seasons.

Source: FA (Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images)

The agreement with the English Football Association (FA) runs from 2024-25 season through to 2028. With coverage including the FA Community Shield, the annual season-opening match between the latest FA Cup winners and Premier League titleholders which will also stream exclusively on ESPN+.

All 79 matches will stream live exclusively on ESPN+ in English and select matches in Spanish. The pay TV operator will also show FA Cup preview shows, branded highlights shows, and live coverage of the FA Cup draws

ESPN has been the exclusive rights holder of the FA Cup in the US since 2018. The FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United gets underway on Saturday May 25.

Venu Sports

As part of a joint venture between Fox, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery, ESPN content will be available on the new US sport streaming service Venu Sports. With a planned autumn launch headed by CEO Pete Distad, Venu Sports combines the trio’s sport properties that comprises of major sport leagues and events.

The joint project is reportedly set to be examined by the US Department of Justice when terms are finalised. In April, two US Congressmen also wrote to Disney, Fox and WBD bosses to express concerns on how the JV would affect “access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market.” Whilst, rival sports streamer Fubo filed a lawsuit against the JV partners, alleging it will destroy competition and inflate prices for consumers. The company with seven other co-signers also sent a joint letter to the US congress urging committee members to launch an inquiry into the creation of Venu Sports.

Commenting on the extended FA deal, Tim Bunnell, senior vice president, programming and acquisition, ESPN said: “We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the FA and to offer fans in the United States the best European cup competitions and domestic leagues in the sport. The Emirates FA Cup is an iconic, historic, and resonant competition, and offering it as part of the robust content offering on ESPN+ continues to make the platform a must-have for soccer fans.”

James Gray, The FA’s commercial director, added: “It’s an exciting time for soccer in the US, with the game’s growth evident for all to see, and the FIFA World Cup in North America on the horizon. ESPN have been our valued partner for many years, so we’re really happy that they will continue to share the unique stories of the Emirates FA Cup with their audiences until 2028.”

Hillary Mandel, executive vice president and head of commercial, Americas for IMG’s media business, added: “The Emirates FA Cup remains a key event on ESPN+ and this deal demonstrates the ongoing appeal for one of soccer’s most prestigious cup competitions, which continues to grow. We’re pleased to extend the successful partnership with ESPN so fans in the US can continue to watch their favorite teams and players.”

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