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- Agreement includes exclusive TV and digital rights
- Coverage kicks off this Saturday, April 6, with telecast of the 2019 Semi-finals featuring Manchester City F.C., Brighton & Hove Albion, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford F.C.
ESPN has reached a multi-year agreement for exclusive rights to the Emirates FA Cup, the oldest and longest-running domestic cup competition in soccer, it was announced today. The agreement grants ESPN exclusive rights across Latin America (Spanish-speaking), the Caribbean and Australia, effective from 2019.
The agreement will bring 79 Emirates FA Cup matches – beginning with the First Round and running through the Finals – to ESPN platforms in Latin America, the Caribbean and Australia. The deal commences this Saturday, April 6 with the 2019 semi-finals featuring Manchester City F.C. (home of Argentina’s national team player Sergio Agüero) facing Brighton & Hove Albion at 12:30 p.m. ET., followed by Wolverhampton Wanderers (home of Mexico’s national team player Raúl Jimenez) vs. Watford F.C. on Sunday, April 7 at 11 a.m. ET. Emirates FA Cup matches will air live on ESPN linear networks across Latin America and the Caribbean, including ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN Caribbean, ESPN2 Caribbean and ESPN Play, ESPN’s multiscreen live and on-demand broadband service in the region.
“As the oldest national football competition in the world, the Emirates FA Cup holds some of the most storied moments in the history of soccer,” said Tim Bunnell, ESPN’s senior vice president of programming. “Adding such an iconic tournament to ESPN’s unparalleled soccer content reinforces the company’s steadfast commitment to serving fans across our international networks.”
Additional content will be featured across ESPN platforms, including Emirates FA Cup highlights and the FA Community Shield, the annual football match between Emirates FA Cup and Premier League titleholders to start the English football season, which is also part of the deal.
The Emirates FA Cup, also called The Football Association Challenge Cup, is the annual knockout competition in English soccer. First played in the 1871-72 season, the competition is open to all registered – professional and non-professional – teams in England. The 2018-19 season featured more than 700 clubs. While all semi-finalists are current Premier League clubs, Manchester City, who seeks its 6th FA Cup championship, is the only semi-finalist that has won a title in the last 50+ years.
Over the years, the competition has grown as fans of lower-division teams anxiously root for their clubs to become “giant-killers” that upset higher-ranked teams. The “Magic of the FA Cup,” replete with Cinderella runs by teams and stirring scenes as clubs from lower levels of English soccer challenge Premier League clubs, has turned the competition into the world’s most famous knockout Cup in domestic soccer.
Emirates FA Cup 2018-2019 Semi-finals on ESPN
|Sat, April 6||12:30 p.m.||Manchester City F.C. vs. Brighton & Hove Albion||ESPN2|
|Sun, April 7||11:00 a.m.||Watford F.C. vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers||ESPN|
|Sat, May 18||TBC||TBC vs. TBC||TBC|