ITV Local and ITVcom team up with FA to show early rounds of FA.
ITV Local and ITV.com team up with FA to show early rounds of FA Cup
For the first time in history FA Cup matches involving non-League clubs will be filmed and available to a large audience thanks to a partnership between ITV Local, ITV.com and The Football Association.
ITV and FA camera crews will capture early round FA Cup action on camera from the first weekend of the E.ON sponsored competition when over 400 clubs begin their bid for glory.
A number of matches have been selected for filming on each FA Cup weekend during August, September and October. Highlight packages will be made available to watch on ITVlocal.com, itv.com and TheFA.com.
Clubs that aren't covered by an ITV Local camera will be given access to an exclusive area on ITV Local's Grassroots Sport website where they can upload their own club videos for all to see.
ITV Local's Director of Content, Lindsay Charlton, said: "For the first time in the history of the FA Cup, dozens of preliminary and qualifying round matches will be captured on camera, thanks to ITV Local. What makes the FA Cup exciting is those small clubs that manage to smash their way through from the early rounds to face Premier League giants. With a little luck ITV Local will be able to follow some of this year's giant killers all the way."
Head of Content at ITV.com, Marc Webber, said: "With this development, we're bringing the big match atmosphere to the smallest of clubs. Everyone that plays in the FA Cup should have their day in the sun and we're proud to be the first broadcaster to cover the FA Cup from the very first kick."
The Editor of TheFA.com website, Jamie Bradbury, said: "The FA Cup is such a unique competition and the early rounds can really inspire the players and fans involved, with a chance to meet the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool a possibility. Last season TheFA.com featured highlights of games in every round of the competition, but the link with ITV.com and ITV Local means we'll be going even further this time around."
This 2008-09 FA Cup season sees a record 762 enter the world's greatest domestic cup competition. It all kicks off on 16th August with the Extra Preliminary Round.