FA moots new media arm for Internet rights

The Football Association is considering setting up a new media division to handle the wireless application protocol (WAP) and Internet rights for its top properties, including the FA Cup and England home internationals.

English football’s governing body sold the live TV rights to the BBC and Sky earlier this month, in a three-year joint package worth more than &£400m, but kept hold of the WAP and Net contracts.

FA chief executive Adam Crozier says: “We had a lot of good offers for the new media rights but decided to retain them for ourselves.”

He says that setting up a new division is one of the options being considered, but that a final decision is unlikely to be made until later in the year.

Other FA properties, such as the Charity Shield and women’s football, will be covered in the contract.

The Premier League is also studying bids for its WAP and Net rights. A league spokesman says a decision is expected in the autumn.

The battle for new media rights is likely to intensify in the next few years as penetration of WAP phones rises. UK retailer Carphone Warehouse predicts that by the end of the year all new mobile phones will be WAP-enabled.

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