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NEWS 9 January 2020

BGC members offer to end FA Cup streaming rights

By Aidan Williams

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) says its members have offered to end their streaming rights to FA Cup games amid controversy following the latest round of fixtures.

The statement is supported by Bet365, who the anger centred on after it had streaming rights for every FA Cup game barring the ones starting at 15:01 on Saturday over the weekend, amounting to a total of 23 games.

Over the same weekend, the BBC showed two matches, while BT Sport had a further four.

This coincided with a mental health campaign from the FA and the mental health charity Heads Together. The streaming deal was initially agreed in 2017 through a third party to the gambling companies, but prior to the FA ending its sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes later that year.

Other brands have had access to streaming the FA Cup since the start of last season, namely Betfair, William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes, Unibet and Paddy Power.

The BGC's statement is supported by Bet365, GVC Holdings (which owns Ladbrokes and Coral), Flutter Entertainment (which owns Paddy Power and Betfair), William Hill and Kindred Group (which owns Unibet).

Following the controversy, it was reported Sport Minister Nigel Davies plans to meet with the FA to discuss the issue. 

In a statement Brigid Simmonds, Chairman of the BGC, said: "Our members did not seek exclusivity for the rights to screen FA cup games.

"They are therefore happy for IMG to offer the rights to screen these games to the Football Association or another appropriate body so the games can be viewed for free by the public with immediate effect."

RELATED TAGS: Sports Betting
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