The Football Association is expected to announce on Friday that ITV and Setanta Sports have won the live rights to broadcast the FA Cup and England’s home international matches, currently owned by the BBC and British Sky Broadcasting.
The two companies, which were bidding against the BBC and BSkyB, offered more than £400m for the television rights for four years starting in August 2008
The BBC were accused of being "caught napping" last night as rivals ITV and Setanta snatched the television rights to FA Cup and England games from them in a £425 million raid.
Sources in the media industry claimed the BBC and Sky had been complacent as ITV chairman Michael Grade, working in conjunction with the Irish pay-TV broadcaster, pulled off one of the most audacious coups in recent sporting memory.
The BBC, who currently share the rights to FA Cup and England games in a £300 million four-year deal due to expire next summer, fiercely denied the claims with insiders insisting the FA had simply opted for the bigger offer on the table.
It is also understood that, in a last-ditch attempt to persuade the FA to stick with their current partners, the BBC's director general, Mark Thompson, and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker fronted a joint presentation with Sky's Richard Keys at the BBC's White City headquarters on Monday.
However, it did not convince the FA to reject ITV and Setanta, whose bid is thought to be worth £50 million more than the one submitted by the BBC and Sky.
The new deal, due to start in August 2008, will give Setanta 17 live FA Cup matches, with ITV showing 13. But ITV will get the first- choice game in each round plus the majority of England qualifiers and friendlies.
ITV and Irish broadcaster Setanta have secured the rights to show the FA Cup and England home internationals in a £425m four-year deal.
The Football Association confirmed the deal, beginning in August 2008, saying that it was "delighted" at the outcome.
The deal is up from the current £300m agreement which is held jointly by the BBC and BSkyB.
Snatching the FA Cup and England rights is a major coup for ITV and its executive chairman Michael Grade
Well I For One Are Glad ,They Took Channels Off Virgin Media For No Reson So Its That Thing What Goes Around Comes Around Now All I Hope Is That Virgin Or Someone Will Get The Rights For The Premier Leauge Then Sky Will Go Down Hill The Greedy Gits
not really sure why the complaints about adverts? Football matches only ever have adverts during half-time so whats the problem really? Ok so the bbc has more talk about the same stuff ~just covering the same highlights only taking longer to do so, but does that really matter?
Since the bbc have now saved so many millions perhaps the money will be spent on other sport and get some more taken off of greedy sky. I like the bbc but i really dont mind that they have lost this minor battle since ITV are a good alternative. Thumbs up from me.
i would rather have adverts than have to pay for a crapy tv licence and like u say adverts are only at half time so whats it matter i would rather the bbc have adverts than pay for a tv licencs thats for sure