England - FA Cup
FA Cup Live Stream and TV Listings, Live Scores, Fixtures, Results
Where can you watch FA Cup in United States?
About FA Cup
FA Cup History, Format, Organization, Media Coverage
The English FA Cup, officially known as The Football Association Challenge Cup or simply the FA Cup, is the oldest national football competition and one of the most prestigious in the world. Founded in 1871, this knockout tournament is held annually and is open to clubs within the English football league system.
The tournament consists of a qualifying stage and the competition proper, each containing several rounds. Teams higher up the English football league system, such as Premier League and Championship sides, receive byes to the later stages of the FA Cup. The fixtures for the competition proper are determined through a random draw.
The ultimate prize for the victorious team is not only the iconic FA Cup trophy but also a place in the UEFA Europa League, providing an opportunity to compete on the European stage. The final, held at Wembley Stadium, typically takes place on the Saturday after the Premier League season concludes.
One of the unique features of the FA Cup is its inclusivity. Teams from various levels of the English football league system, including non-league clubs, have the chance to participate. As a result, this has given birth to a tradition of "giant-killing", where lower-league teams can face and potentially defeat top-tier clubs.
The FA Cup boasts a rich broadcasting legacy in the UK. Originally, the BBC held exclusive airing rights, even pioneering a radio broadcast of a match in 1926, complete with a grid-marked pitch for listeners. 1937 saw the first televised final, albeit not in its entirety. By 1955, ITV and BBC entered a shared broadcasting phase, fueling a rivalry evident through extensive coverages throughout the '70s and '80s. This arrangement persisted until 1988, post which the BBC secured sole terrestrial rights until 1997. Subsequently, ITV, Sky, and the BBC jointly held the rights. A setback with Setanta Sports in 2009-10 led ITV to air additional games.
ESPN took the reins from 2010-11 to 2012-13, collaborating with Sky 3D for the 2011 final. BT Sport then succeeded ESPN in 2013-14. Radio broadcasts have consistently featured on BBC Radio 5 Live and Talksport. In 2014-15, ITV recaptured the rights, partnering with BBC Sport. Selected matches showcasing Welsh clubs were exclusive to S4C. A landmark decision in May 2019 decreed that from 2021-22, ITV would supersede BT Sport, marking the return of all FA Cup matches to free-to-air platforms for the first time since 1988, in collaboration with the BBC.
In the USA, ESPN replaced Fox Sports as the exclusive broadcasting rights holder in 2018-19. As part of this multiyear agreement, ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+ secured the right to live stream the tournament to fans in the U.S. and provide highlights shows, match previews, and live draws for each round.