ITV and Setanta net FA broadcast rights in the UK

The Football Association has confirmed that ITV and Setanta, the Irish pay-TV broadcaster, have bought the broadcast rights to England’s home internationals and live FA Cup ties.

The two companies have paid £425m for the four-year deal, outbidding the BBC and BSkyB, the current joint holders of the contract.

This latest deal comes after FA chief executive Brian Barwick was tasked with substantially increasing revenue from FA broadcast rights. The FA had set a target of generating more than £400m. The current deal between the BBC and BSkyB was worth £300m.

Although the BBC is said to have revived interest in the FA Cup, fiscal concerns took priority for the FA and it divided the rights into 15 batches.

ITV and Setanta are thought to have developed a structure that, although they bid separately, would complement each other. The deal also includes rights to the online and mobile markets, and Setanta will offer a video-on-demand service featuring match highlights

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