The BBC, the UK's public-service broadcaster, has finalized a sub-licensing agreement with TNT Sports, the pay-TV operator owned by media giant Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), to continue providing free-to-air coverage of English soccer’s FA Cup competition from 2025-26.

Under a four-year deal through 2028-29, the BBC will show 14 games per season, including the final.

There will also be highlights and digital clips available across the broadcaster's platforms.

As well as the final, the BBC will provide live coverage of two FA Cup matches from each round up to the quarter-finals, and one semi-final.

The BBC's existing deal to broadcast the FA Cup on a free-to-air basis has been ongoing for the past 10 years.

The public-service broadcaster is understood to have secured the secondary live rights package in a deal with TNT Sports ahead of commercial broadcaster ITV – with whom it currently shares rights.

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TNT Sports obtained the main rights to the FA Cup from 2025-26 in February after striking a deal with the Football Association (FA) governing body.

Under that agreement, the broadcaster, formerly known as BT Sport, will show every game live from the competition’s third round onwarrds – outside the 3pm domestic blackout slot across the UK – until the end of the 2028-29 season via its linear channels and WBD’s streaming platform Discovery+.

The package also includes rights to air the FA Community Shield and the FA Youth Cup semi-finals and finals.

The four-year deal, if no sub-licensing agreement had been put in place, would have put the competition behind a paywall, with the BBC and rival ITV losing their rights to broadcast the competition (which they hold until the end of the 2024-25 season).

The original TNT deal had, however, included a commitment to make matches from each round free-to-air, either via its own platforms or in partnership with a terrestrial channel.

BT Sport previously shared FA Cup rights with the BBC from 2014 to 2021.

WBD and the BBC had a similar arrangement elsewhere in sport almost a decade ago, with WBD taking the exclusive rights to the Olympics from the public-service broadcaster, and then entering a sub-licensing partnership with the corporation.

The BBC also recently extended its long-standing deal to show highlights from the English Premier League and will in addition air highlights from the UEFA Champions League elite European club competition for the first time next season under a three-year deal.