DCMS praises ‘constructive talks’ with FA over streaming rights

Ministers from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have held ‘constructive discussions’ with the Football Association (FA) regarding the ongoing debate over streaming rights.

In a statement, Minister for Sport Media and Communications Nigel Adams explained that no games will be streamed exclusively through gambling operators from this year’s fourth round.

He explained: “The FA have confirmed that no FA Cup matches will be exclusively streamed through gambling operators from this year’s fourth round, through to the end of its current domestic broadcast contract in 2021.

“No individual will need to access a gambling account to see their team play in the FA Cup, which we welcome as a positive step in the right direction.”

Earlier this week, the sporting body agreed to carry out a review of such agreements awarded to sports betting operators after the coverage of numerous FA Cup matches were broadcast on betting websites, with a review gaining the backing of GVC Holdings, bet365, Flutter Entertainment, William Hill and Kindred Group.

A report carried out by the Daily Mail found that coverage of 23 of the 32 FA Cup third-round ties that took place last weekend were accessible via the bet365 website on the conditions that customers staked a bet or signed up for a new account with a £5 deposit.

In 2017, the FA had previously agreed to a six-year deal with IMG which allowed the broadcasting rights to be sold to bookmakers from the start of the 2018/19 season. The agreement is not due to finish until the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

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