ESPN look set to agree to ITV’s plans to schedule the latter stages of the FA Cup in mid-week.
ITV were keen to move cup ties into mid-week as they have found their television audiences larger in replays, and ESPN vice-president Jeroen Oerlemans has claimed to be open-minded to the idea.
Both television companies are keen to revamp the FA Cup, which has seen a dwindling reputation in recent years and with more people tuning in to mid-week replays, they feel moving ties away from the weekends is the perfect way to do so.
ESPN have had their live Premier League matches reduced by half for next season, so believe that a change would offset any decline in subscribers.
This plan would also see FA Cup replays scrapped completely.
The managing director for ESPN, who signed a four-year deal with the FA to gain broadcasting rights, said that they don’t want to “trip people up, we’re just trying to make good television.”
The final decision will rest with the FA, but with pressure coming from both broadcasters to make these changes, they are liable to bend to their will.
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