If you want to learn how to watch the FA Cup in the UK this season, you have certainly come to the right place. Our extensive guide covers everything you need to know about watching the FA Cup in 2023-24.
What Channel Has FA Cup TV Rights in the UK?
The UK’s FA Cup TV rights are shared by public free-to-air broadcasters the BBC and ITV, with the current deal in place until the 2024-25 campaign. Each broadcaster airs multiple games throughout the season, while both providers simultaneously show the FA Cup final live.
ITV Sport has the right to show a minimum of 20 live games per season, taking the first and fourth pick of ties in the second round, fourth round and the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, BBC Sport shows 18 live matches per season, taking the second and third picks for the early rounds, in addition to the first pick of the semi-finals.
It is also worth noting that additional games featuring Welsh clubs may feature on BBC Wales or S4C, the Welsh-language free-to-air channel.
Best TV Packages to Watch the FA Cup in the UK
BBC and ITV channels are available to all UK residents free of charge. As long as you have a legitimate and up-to-date TV licence, you can access every FA Cup clash available on UK television.
A UK TV licence costs £159 per year and is required for watching live FA Cup matches on a television, computer, laptop, phone, tablet, games console and similar devices.
Given that annual subscriptions to broadcasting giants such as Sky Sports and TNT Sports are far more expensive than a TV licence, football fans in the UK can enjoy the FA Cup for a relatively low fee.
Best FA Cup Live Streaming Options in the UK
Both the BBC and ITV have dedicated streaming apps that can be used to watch live FA Cup games. BBC iPlayer and ITVX can be accessed via your smart TV, computer, laptop, tablet, phone and other portable devices.
The BBC also holds the rights to stream qualifying round matches on their digital services, although this is typically restricted to one match per round.
How to Watch the FA Cup Using a VPN
For those unaware, VPN stands for “virtual private network”. VPNs establish a protected network connection between your device and a remote server, enabling you to access content from other regions.
Although you can use a virtual private network to stream live FA Cup games, we recommend carrying out your own search before diving into the world of VPNs.
However, in theory, with the right VPN, you could access BBC iPlayer or ITVX and watch these FA Cup matches for free from anywhere in the world.
Best Platforms to Watch FA Cup Highlights in the UK
Viewers in the UK can watch FA Cup highlights via the BBC and ITV. Both broadcasters air dedicated FA Cup highlights shows throughout the season, keeping fans up to date with the latest action and talking points.
You can also find highlights on the FA Cup’s official YouTube channel, titled “The Emirates FA Cup”. The channel has 4.2k videos and more than two million subscribers, making it a great place to catch highlights and other FA Cup content.
FAQ: How to Watch the FA Cup in 2023-24
Q. What channel is showing the FA Cup?
A. The FA Cup is broadcast by the BBC and ITV in the UK. Fans can watch on TV or online. Games are aired across a variety of the broadcasters’ channels including BBC One, ITV, ITV4 and others. Matches are also live streamed on their online platforms, the BBC iPlayer and ITVX.
Q. How can I watch the FA Cup for free?
A. The FA Cup is on free-to-air television in the UK, but you still need a valid TV licence to watch the action. A UK TV licence costs £159 per year, which is far cheaper than other sports subscriptions.
Q. Can you watch the FA Cup on BBC iPlayer?
A. Yes, the FA Cup is available on BBC iPlayer. Fans can watch live FA Cup games on BBC iPlayer via their TV, phone, tablet or other portable devices, with replays and highlights shows also available on the same platform.
Q. How can I watch the FA Cup final for free?
A. UK residents can watch the FA Cup final on both the BBC and ITV. As long as you possess a TV licence, you can watch the FA Cup final without needing a subscription, essentially for free.
Q. When was the first FA Cup final televised?
A. The FA Cup final was first televised back in 1938, when there were fewer than 10,000 TV sets in the UK. Preston North End defeated Huddersfield Town 1-0 at Wembley that year.
Q. Which team has won the most FA Cups?
A. Arsenal (14) have won more FA Cup titles than any other club. Manchester United (12), Chelsea (8), Liverpool (8) and Tottenham Hotspur (8) round out the top five.