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Breaking News: The FA Cup is Coming to Setanta Sports

Setanta Sports logoBeginning in the 2008/2009 season, Setanta Sports in the United States and Canada will show some of the FA Cup matches on TV, according to a source inside Setanta Sports.

Here’s how it’ll work: Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports has reached an agreement whereby each network will decide which matches will be shown on their respective channels during each week of the FA Cup tournament, beginning with the 2008/2009 season. That will also extend to the FA Cup Final, which will alternate between Fox Soccer Channel one year, and Setanta Sports the following year and so on.

Currently in the United States, Fox Soccer Channel has held the TV rights to the FA Cup for several years. The exception to the rule are the big matches that are only available via pay-per-view in the homes in the U.S., while those some PPV matches are also available via CCTV in the pubs in the United States (via Setanta Premium). Again, that’s how it works today.

Beginning in the 2008/2009 season, the way that the FA Cup will be shown in the United States on Fox and Setanta will be very similar to how Fox and Setanta split up the Premier League now.

For Setanta Sports, this is quite a coup. The 24/7 soccer network now has rights to the Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League, Championship, Carling Cup as well as foreign leagues. Setanta, in the past, was a nice to have. Now it’s a need to have.

For Fox Soccer Channel, the decision to share the FA Cup with Setanta Sports may be another sign of the network having difficulty being able to afford the spiraling costs for TV rights. Plus, FSC only has one network to show all of the matches they have rights to, while Setanta Sports has two networks: It’s main one and the “overflow” channel, Setanta Xtra.

More details to come as soon as I get them.

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  1. Pingback: Setanta Aims to Revolutionize FA Cup Coverage | EPL Talk

  2. Charlie

    January 10, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Oh Thank God… No more getting bent over for a PPV charge by the FA just because I’m a Man Utd fan. My posterior feels better already!

  3. Todd

    January 10, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    dont really see much of a story here…seeing as though FSC generally has some of the worst matches to choose from anyway. each round the best matches (manchester united no matter who they play) are on PPV and until thats fixed, this isnt a big deal. you have a hard time paying $15 a month for a 24 hour channel….what about $15 for a 2 hour game?

    setanta needs to figure it out and get their rights together, and then get on every cable outlet. they would get in more households as part of a sports teir and probably make more than $15 of true football fans.

  4. TT

    January 10, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Read a story suggesting Setanta will restore the old Friday night slot for live FA Cup.

  5. tampasoccer

    January 10, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    $180/year for one channel-Setanta-is a bit too much, but, I figured, as a religious follower of the Premier League, I didn’t have an alternative. Like it or not, the channel is a must. With Setanta Extra, I watch 3 live 10am Saturday games.
    3 Saturdays ago, when West Ham came back from a goal down against United, and Chelsea scored a late one (clear offside) against Newcastle, and , at the same time, Berbatov scored 17 goals against Reading(I meant 4), and to be able to watch live all those 3 exciting games: talk about the ultimate Premier League experience…

  6. The Scout

    January 10, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I still can’t bring myself to pay the $15-20 per month for a single channel. FSC costs me about $2-3 in comparison. If FSC in Canada ends up “giving up” their broadcast rights to Setanta for FA Cup as well I might have to reconsider. Still, $180 – 240 per year is a bit much.

  7. eplnfl

    January 10, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Well great news. Having FSC and Setanta means more coverage. I am the guy that will point out that what is going on with English Football coverage in the US is similar to the NFL and NBA. It’s too big for one network to carry. Great for the fan.

  8. Aaron

    January 10, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Great, so I guess this means even less matches that I can watch with cable.

    And while I realize that Setanta is easily available with broadband, it’s a) wildly expensive ($10-15/mo compared to the about $1 a month for FSC on cable; and b) I’m sorry, but I like having people over for matches, and I doubt they’d be thrilled with watching say, Arsenal-United on a 13 inch Macbook screen.

    Come on, Comcast, you’ve already got FSC and Gol, just add Setanta already!

  9. tampasoccer

    January 10, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Great news. Paying $15-20 to watch Luton-Liverpool is ridiculous. That finally solves the problem. Subscribing to Setanta was one of the best decisions for me last year.

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