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The FA's Adam Crozier
makes the announcment in Spa.
 real 28k

BBC Director General Greg Dyke
"We, today, have secured peak time live football"
 real 28k

Thursday, 15 June, 2000, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
BBC wins back FA Cup

Live FA Cup football and England home internationals are returning to the BBC, the Football Association has announced.

The BBC's joint bid with BSkyB beat off competitors to bring the world's oldest club competition back to the corporation for the next three years.

Under the terms of the deal, worth 440m, all of England's competitive senior matches will be broadcast live on BBC TV.

The combination of Britain's most innovative broadcaster, BSkyB and everyone's favourite the BBC, gives all fans the best of both worlds

FA chief executive Adam Crozier
The news is a huge boost to BBC Sport, which lost its rights to show Premiership highlights to rivals ITV on Wednesday.

It saves the BBC's flagship football programme, Match of the Day, which looked doomed after the Premiership rights were lost.

The FA brought forward the date of the announcement, which had not been expected for at least another fortnight.

The chief executive of the Football Association, Adam Crozier, said: "I am very pleased to announce in an open and fair process the successful bid for the rights came jointly from the BBC and BSkyB.

"The contract is worth a minimum of 400m over the next three years, commencing in season 2001/2.

"For England all competitive matches will be shown live on BBC One.

"All England matches both competitive and friendly will be shown live on BSkyB with highlights on BBC.

"For the FA Cup, I'm delighted to say it will be shown live on both BSkyB and BBC One and we will be recreating the magic of FA Cup weekend.

"All matches will be played on Saturday and Sunday, replays will be held in the same week and the draw will be live on BBC One and Sky on a Sunday night."

BBC bounces back

BBC Director General, Greg Dyke, said the news was clear evidence the corporation was fully committed to sport.

"We've been criticised for not having enough football coverage," he said. "But we have now secured 17-20 live matches, next year alone, for the BBC."

We're very pleased to bring back FA Cup football to the BBC, which is the competition's natural home

BBC Director General Greg Dyke
Dyke refused to announce the exact figure the BBC had paid for the deal, but he took the opportunity to take another swipe at Wednesday's failed Premiership bid.

"It's not sour grapes, we were simply never keen on Wednesday's process," he said.

"We're very pleased to bring back FA Cup football to the BBC, which is the competition's natural home."

The BBC came in for heavy criticism after Wednesday's announcement, which was the latest in a string of high-profile sports losses.

Wednesday's rights announcement saw ITV take the Premiership highlights package, while Sky won rights to screen 66 live games a season.

Cable giant NTL netted a seasonal 40-game pay-per-view contract.

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