Manchester City forward Erling Haaland (9) runs the ball during the exhibition match against FC Bayern Munich on Saturday, July 23, 2022, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. Credit: Green Bay Press-Gazette

Since 2018, ESPN has been the home of the FA Cup.

That won’t be changing anytime soon.

Ahead of Saturday’s final between defending champion Manchester City and rival Manchester United, the Worldwide Leader announced that it has reached an extension to keep the FA Cup on its airwaves through the 2027-28 tournament. As a part of the agreement, all 79 matches in England’s oldest and longest-running national cup competition in soccer will remain on ESPN+, with select matches also available in Spanish.

Additionally, ESPN will remain the home of the FA Community Shield match at the start of each season, which features the defending FA Cup champions against the previous season’s winner of the English Premier League. Should Manchester City win the FA Cup on Saturday after winning this past season’s Premier League title, they would then face EPL runner-up Arsenal in the FA Community Shield match for the second straight year.

Other details of the extension between ESPN and the FA Cup include “additional content will feature across ESPN+ and other ESPN platforms, including Emirates FA Cup preview shows, branded highlights shows, and live coverage of Emirates FA Cup draws” and “extensive Emirates FA Cup highlights across ESPN studio news and information programming.”

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the FA and to offer fans in the United States the best European cup competitions and domestic leagues in the sport,” ESPN Senior Vice President of Programming and Acquisition Tim Bunnell said in a release. “The Emirates FA Cup is an iconic, historic, and resonant competition, and offering it as part of the robust content offering on ESPN+ continues to make the platform a must-have for soccer fans.”

While it may not be as mainstream as the UEFA Champions League (which airs on CBS/Paramount+), the FA Cup is a high profile tournament that routinely features many of the top teams and players from the English Premier League. Airing exclusively on ESPN+, the tournament has become one of the streaming service’s signature events and could prove to provide a blueprint for the network as it eyes the launch of its direct-to-consumer service next fall.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.