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FA to review sale of broadcasting rights after FA Cup games shown on gambling website

The Football Association is set to review the sale of FA Cup broadcasting rights according to a report by the Daily Mail.

According to the report, gambling company Bet365 showed 23 third-round matches last weekend on their website as part of their deal with the FA. However, the matches were only available to watch if customers placed a bet or deposited £5 into their account in the 24 hours leading up to the matches kicking off.

The broadcasts came as the start of the matches were all delayed by one minute in order to publicise the FA’s Heads Up mental health campaign, which is backed by FA President Prince William.

Retweeting a headline on the front page of the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Secretary of State for the UK Government's Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Nicky Morgan said;

'This is a contractual matter for the FA & Bet365 but things have moved on since the contract was signed & I hope they will re-consider'.

The FA said in July 2017 that it had cut all ties with gambling firms, including a deal with Ladbrokes, however, the FA was unable to end the broadcasting rights deal agreed with IMG in January 2017.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, a spokesperson from the FA said;

“We will review this element of the media rights sales process ahead of tendering rights from the 2024/25 season"

“The FA agreed a media rights deal with IMG in early 2017, part of which permits them to sell the right to show live footage or clips of FA Cup matches to bookmakers. Bet365 acquired these rights from IMG to use from the start of the 2018/19 season.

“This deal was agreed before we made a clear decision on the FA’s relationship with gambling companies in June 2017 when we ended our partnership with Ladbrokes.”

Sports Minister Nigel Adams commented on the events saying "All sports bodies need to be mindful of the impact that problem gambling can have on the most vulnerable."

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