FA announce major FA Cup change impacting Leeds United, Manchester United, Arsenal and others

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Leeds United enjoyed a strong FA Cup run this season.

Leeds United could be on television more than ever from the 2025/26 campaign, following confirmation that the BBC will screen a total of 14 FA Cup ties per season.

The agreement with main rights holder TNT Sports will see two ties per round screened live on the BBC through to the quarter-finals, with one semi-final and the final also on free-to-air TV. The four-year deal has been agreed on a co-exclusive basis, with TNT enjoying first pick for each round while the BBC will get picks two and four, and will begin when the current deal between BBC and ITV expires at the end of next season.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

TNT will still show every FA Cup match that does not kick off at 3pm on Saturday, with the iconic tournament not immune to English football’s blackout rule. Kick-off timings for televised games are yet to be confirmed but more changes are expected with an increase in the number of fixtures being broadcast. 

The news comes just a few weeks after the FA’s controversial decision to scrap FA Cup replays. A number of English Football League clubs - including Leeds - insist they had no say in the vote, which was passed through without their knowledge.

Commenting on the agreement, FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “We are delighted that the BBC will continue as one of our Emirates FA Cup broadcast partners, under this new deal with TNT Sports.

Get a personalised Leeds United news round-up when you sign up for our free Leeds United newsletter email.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It was always our intention to ensure that this very special competition would be accessible for everyone, and this new broadcast partnership will enable fans to see more of its matches live than ever before from the start of the 2025-26 season, across both TNT Sports and free-to-air on the BBC. The BBC has told many of the magical and memorable stories that only the Emirates FA Cup can create, and we look forward to making even more history together in the years ahead.”

Leeds enjoyed a strong FA Cup run this season, with three of their four games broadcast live - the fourth round draw at home to Plymouth Argyle was a Saturday 3pm kick-off, although the replay was on TV. Daniel Farke’s side saw their cup run ended by Premier League Chelsea, although they put on an excellent performance in an exciting 3-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Those three cup games that were on TV have contributed to a season in which Leeds have been almost ever-present on screens across the country. Sunday’s Championship play-off semi-final first-leg draw at Norwich City was the 33rd Whites game shown live.

That number tops the previous 32-game record for the club, set in the 2018/19 season - barring the 2020/21 campaign in which all games were broadcast during the Coronavirus pandemic. Thursday’s second-leg at Elland Road will make it 34 and Farke will hope a trip to Wembley for the final will see his side on TV 35 times.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Should Leeds remain in the Championship next season, then a major agreement between the EFL and Sky Sports means more than 1,000 games across the second-tier, League One and League Two will be shown live. That includes every single game on the opening weekend, a first for British TV in which the Saturday 3pm blackout will not apply.