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Third Round and Fourth Round FA Cup Ties on UK TV

Sky Sports and the BBC have made a decision on which fourth round FA Cup matches they’ll be televising and, for the most part, they’ve gone after the money ties instead of the matches that make the FA Cup special. First, here are the games that will be shown live in the UK:

Saturday, January 26
Mansfield v Middlesbrough, BBC, 7:30am ET
Wigan v Chelsea, BBC, 12:15pm ET

Sunday, January 27
Manchester United v Spurs or Reading, BBC, 9am ET
West Ham or Manchester City v Sheffield United, Sky Sports, 11am ET

The heads of the BBC and Sky Sports have therefore decided to overlook the one FA Cup match that would have had the most appeal, depending on what happened in the third round replay, and that was Liverpool or Luton v Swansea or Havant and Waterlooville.

As for the third round replays, the matches televised in the UK will be:

Tuesday, January 15
Liverpool v Luton Town, Sky Sports

Wednesday, January 16
Manchester City v West Ham United, BBC

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    January 5, 2009 at 3:36 am


  2. Passing by

    January 9, 2008 at 8:37 am

    In all honesty, there would have been a greater chance for the game that had ‘most appeal’ as you put it had Liverpool won on Sunday. Instead a game with too many unknowns isn’t going to get billing because there is still a chance of an unappealing tie.

    As for why the decision had to be made before replay results were in, I believe that has to do with policing issues.

    But why no love for Mansfield Town v Middlesbrough? Fourth Tier of English Football getting a home draw against a Premier League side (ok it’s Boro, but still). At least we know Field Mill should have one cracking atmosphere.

  3. Jeff Hash

    January 9, 2008 at 8:19 am

    But this decision had to be made before the replay results are in. I dont’ know why, but they are.

    So, whoever picked it would be left with the possiblity of getting Luton hosting Swansea, which is not all that compeling. Liverpool hosting Swansea is not much better. Luton hosting Havant… well, we saw that Swansea hosting Havant wasn’t enough for a selection in the third round (understandable given who’s the home side). So the only way it really pays off is having it be Liverpool v Havant.

    TV execs prefer certainty. At least when the Liverpool match was chosen in the third round, we knew they’d be on the road to a clearly lower opponent. You don’t get anything like that here.

    As for the matches that make the FA Cup special, look through the draw again. Are there really any matches that jump to you as special FA Cup affairs? I said it before, I’ll say it again: this draw is a bore. So the default will naturally go to big clubs.

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