ESPN CareersExecutive VoiceSoccerThe ESPN DifferenceWalt Disney CompanyWho Does That?Working @ ESPN

Executive Voice: SVP, Programming, Tim Bunnell, on the FA Cup on ESPN+ Extension

The four-year extension for the Emirates FA Cup series "guarantees that fans can turn to ESPN+ exclusively for some of the best matches featuring top-tier English football clubs"

ESPN announced Tuesday that it has agreed with the English Football Association (FA) for the media rights to the Emirates FA Cup in the United States for the next four seasons, 2024-’25 through 2027-’28. 

The agreement, which solidifies ESPN+’s position as the exclusive home of 79 Emirates FA Cup matches each season, includes the FA Community Shield, the annual season-opening match between the latest Emirates FA Cup winners and Premier League titleholders, which will also stream exclusively on ESPN+. The competition begins with the First Round in November and running through to the Final at London’s Wembley Stadium in late May. 

Tim Bunnell
(Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Tim Bunnell, Senior Vice President for Programming and Acquisition who led ESPN through this agreement, discussed the extension with ESPN Front Row.

What is the significance of this agreement?
The FA Cup solidifies ESPN+’s position as the must-have streaming sports platform for soccer fans in the United States. As the longest-running domestic knockout soccer competition in the world, replete with memorable games known as the “magic of the FA Cup,” it strengthens our robust roster of more than 5,400 soccer matches on the platform. In addition, the Emirates FA Cup series guarantees that fans can turn to ESPN+ exclusively for some of the best matches featuring top-tier English football clubs such as Manchester City, Arsenal FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester United, Chelsea FC, and others. 

How would the Emirates FA Cup contribute to ESPN’s audience expansion and direct-to-consumer priorities?
As a company in the business of acquiring sports content, our primary goal is to secure media rights to properties that drive value for ESPN and The Walt Disney Company. The FA Cup is one such property.

FA Cup fans skew younger, are digitally savvy, and have more disposable income than most other sports. These attributes represent a very attractive demographic with an appetite for ESPN’s evolution toward being the preeminent digital sports platform.
What can fans look forward to from ESPN for the next four seasons of the FA Cup on ESPN+?
Fans can expect best-in-class match production from the FA, anchored by ESPN’s industry-leading “game-around-the-game” coverage of key FA Cup matches and matchups. We boast an unmatched collection of media assets across linear, digital, and social platforms.

These platforms will continue to showcase the Emirates FA Cup content on the many ESPN news, information, and storytelling platforms. Our signature soccer programs, ESPN FC (English) and the Spanish-language Fuera de Juego, will wrap key matches with pregame, halftime, and postgame specials. Some of the best English voices with experience in English football will commentate on select matches alongside reporters and analysts covering key matches from the stadiums. 


This deal demonstrates the long-standing and global appeal of the Emirates FA Cup, as one of soccer’s most prestigious cup competitions. We’re pleased to extend the successful partnership with ESPN so fans in the U.S. can continue to watch their favorite teams and players on the device of their choice through ESPN+.
           – Hillary Mandel, Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial, Americas for IMG, the FA Cup’s partner in the U.S.

2024 FA Cup Final (Programming Note):

On Saturday, May 25, ESPN+ will exclusively carry the second-straight Manchester Derby Emirates FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Manchester United, live from Wembley Stadium. English-language coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET with ESPN FC pregame show (kickoff at 10 a.m.). Jon Champion and Jim Beglin (English), Fernando Palomo and Eduardo Biscayart (Spanish) will call the match. For more, visit ESPN Press Room.

Spencer T. Jackson produced the video

Back to top button