ESPN support FA Cup midweek move

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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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1 COMMENT

  1. What a load of f£$$%%g B$%^&%^s what about us the people who actualy put thier hands in thier pockets to watch the games,

    TV is going to ruin the game and destroy whats left of the FA Cup – You might as well scrap it if your going to do that and I will cancel my ESPN subscription if they do.

    They have only been in the game 5 minutes and like yanks always do think they can change eveything to suit them

    I would prefer the FA cup not to be televised ESPN = SCUM

  2. Mr Angry, you need to calm down a litte. ESPN have only said they are open to the idea and you can't blame them for wanting to get the biggest TV audiences.

    not sure I'm too keen on the idea of scrapping replays – a lot of clubs get a nice pay check from managing to earn a replay. I wonder how many games against the big teams would have the location switched just so the smaller teams can get a bit more of an income from what would now only be a one-off game…?

  3. I go to a lot of games home and away and I could not get any more time off in midweek but I have carling games and european ties so the FA cup would go not only cos I can’t get time but also out of principle amnd I haven’t and wouldn’t buy ESPN ever

  4. Agree for a selfish reason. Night game means 3 a.m. here.
    Regarding replay,one suggestion is to give the home advantage to the team lower in the league tables (all 4 div.) & penalty shootout after 90 minutes if there were no winner. The Cup winner would be a special team who could win away against the lower teams & beat all the top teams at home. Or maybe for the Carling Cup which needs a new format to generate more interest ?

  5. No thanks, it'll cost those of us who travel to games a fortune in time off/travel/accomodation etc. Guess where that money will come from ESPN? It'll be the £9/month that I pay you.

  6. Maybe the reason why the reputation of the FA Cup is dwindling because it's dominated by the same teams, and it's fixed?

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