Football fans in England have been blessed with the news that the FA Cup action will not move behind a paywall, as the BBC announced a new four-year deal.
The agreement just announced will see the FA Cup matches continue to be broadcast live by the BBC until 2025, starting with the 2021-22 season, and will also include highlights and online clips.
As many as 18 one-season projectors will be televised, which is more than any other, and will include greater coverage of the early stages – with up to six live matches between rounds one and two.
And the ties of Manchester United are almost always chosen for live coverage (only one has not been broadcast live in the UK since 2005), and Man City will always be a favorite for the trophy in the coming years, which surely means that the fans not paying for BT and Sky will have more chances to watch their teams for free.
The BBC currently shares the rights to the FA Cup with BT Sport, with each TV station set to broadcast a semi-final in the coming weeks – with the BBC seeing the quadruple chase that City faces Brighton.
Currently, the BBC agreement includes 16 live matches, including the final, and other games involving Welsh clubs on BBC Wales and a live match for preliminary round available on the red button and on the BBC Sport website.
In comparison, BT Sport broadcasts 30 games per season, including the final, and both offers started last season and should finish until 2021.
BT has yet to announce their next deal with the FA, but chances are they will continue to dominate the schedules, even if the increase in unencrypted matches is good for football fans across the country, due to the ; increase in prices for access to sport.