BBC Retains FA Cup Rights Package Through 2028-29

Broadcast Arrangement: FA Cup Coverage Continues on BBC Through to 2029

The BBC has secured the rights to broadcast key matches from England’s foremost knockout football tournament, the FA Cup, up to the 2028-29 season. This extension ensures that viewers across the UK will be able to access live FA Cup football without subscription fees.

The Agreement

The deal grants the BBC live coverage of 14 matches each season starting in 2025-26 and extending to 2028-29, resulting from negotiations with Warner Bros. Discovery. This places the FA Cup within the offerings of the UK public broadcaster alongside the final and highlights, with additional content available through its online services.


The condition set by the Football Association required TNT Sports to ensure some FTA availability of the competition, and hence this partnership with BBC came to fruition. The agreement between the Football Association and Warner Bros. Discovery, which occurred in February, stipulated the inclusion of a terrestrial broadcaster to facilitate FTA broadcasts. The arrangement ensures that the FA Cup, which holds a storied place in English football history, remains accessible to a broad audience.

Coverage Details

BBC has been entrusted with broadcasting two live FA Cup matches per round until the quarter-finals and additionally one of the semi-finals. While the FA Cup may not command the same global audience as the Premier League, its domestic appeal is still potent, as evidenced by the substantial viewership numbers that marquee matches attract.

Broader Impact

The FA Cup, with its capacity for unexpected outcomes and tradition-rich narrative, has been a fan-favorite, though it has faced challenges in maintaining its popularity. With this renewal of FTA rights, the cup aims to continue its legacy as a cornerstone of English football, especially in light of recent format changes intended to enhance its standing.

Rights and Coverage

Aside from the FA Cup, TNT Sports will broadcast every qualifying game live beyond the third round, barring the UK’s domestic media blackout periods. These rights include additional FA-affiliated competitions such as the FA Community Shield and crucial stages of the FA Youth Cup.

Wider Broadcasting Commitments

This commitment to football coverage complements the BBC’s recent agreements to relay EPL highlights and introduce UEFA Champions League highlight coverage, reflecting its role as a primary destination for free-to-air football content in the UK.

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Recent Developments

BBC and TNT Sports Deal:

  • BBC continues free-to-air FA Cup broadcasts
  • TNT Sports acquires primary media rights until 2029
  • Four-year sublicense allows BBC showing

FA Cup Broadcast Rights:

  • BBC secures 14 season games live
  • Secondary rights after TNT’s £264 million deal
  • Includes FA Community Shield, FA Youth Cup

Industry Impact:

  • Deal prevents FA Cup solely behind pay-wall
  • Ensures broader fan access without subscription
  • ITV loses FA Cup rights, shifts in broadcaster landscape

Subscription Services and Revenue:

  • Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) becomes UK pay-TV heavyweight
  • Discovery+ set to stream alongside linear channels
  • Streaming platforms amplify competition with pay-TV

Fan Engagement:

  • Clubs anticipate increased attendances
  • Highlights accessibility may encourage grassroots support

Broadcasting Environment:

  • Competition intensifies among commercial broadcasters
  • Amazon, DAZN, and Sky Sports vie for domestic rights
  • Media giants explore sub-licensing to broaden reach

Implications of the Latest Television Rights Agreement for the FA Cup

The recent broadcasting contract secures the future of FA Cup coverage, ensuring that matches will continue to be available to a wide audience. This means that the competition will maintain its presence on familiar platforms while potentially welcoming new viewers through shared broadcasting arrangements.

Future Channels Broadcasting the FA Cup

While new deals do bring changes, the BBC will still be a primary home for the FA Cup in coming seasons. However, certain matches may be shared with other broadcasters as part of sub-licensing agreements, which could introduce the FA Cup on different channels.

Impact of Renewed Broadcast Rights for Fans and Viewers

The renewal of broadcast rights is a win for fans and viewers, as it guarantees that a substantial portion of matches will remain free-to-air. This maintains the FA Cup’s tradition of accessibility and ensures that fans can continue to enjoy the competition without additional subscriptions.

Changes in Accessing Live FA Cup Matches Due to the Deal

Live FA Cup Match Access:

  • Free-to-air coverage: Continuation on the BBC
  • Subscription services: Potential for additional platforms

The continuation of free-to-air broadcasting means that access to live FA Cup matches remains largely unchanged for the public. However, the deal might introduce matches via subscription services, making some content accessible only to paying viewers.

Influence of the BBC’s Partnership on Competition’s Reach and Viewership

The BBC’s sustained partnership with the FA Cup ensures that the competition benefits from the broadcaster’s wide reach and established viewership. This relationship is pivotal in maintaining the FA Cup’s status as a widely recognized and celebrated sporting event.

The BBC’s Renewal of Broadcast Rights and FA Cup Coverage until 2029

The extension of the broadcast rights will shape FA Cup coverage by ensuring consistency and stability in how the event is presented to audiences. The BBC’s commitment to the FA Cup until 2029 suggests that viewers can expect continued quality coverage and insightful commentary synonymous with the BBC’s sports broadcasting.

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