America’s Soccer Channel Retains U.S. Television Rights to FA Premier League and Adds Exclusive Rights to FA Cup; Fox Sports World to Air England National Team Matches as Well

America’s Soccer Channel Retains U.S. Television Rights to FA Premier League and Adds Exclusive Rights to FA Cup; Fox Sports World to Air England National Team Matches as Well

Entertainment Editors/Sports Editors/Business Editors

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 26, 2004

The Barclays English Premier League, the most globally distinguished soccer enterprise whose television broadcasts reach over 160 countries and a cumulative global audience base of over 570 million, will return to Fox Sports World for three more seasons. The announcement was made today during a press conference at Nevada Smiths, one of New York’s popular soccer pubs, by David Sternberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager of U.S. sports networks Fox Sports World and Fox Sports en Espanol.

Through an agreement reached between Fox Sports International and the FA Premier League of England (FAPL), Fox Sports World retains the North American television rights to all FAPL matches through the 2006/2007 season. The FAPL made its North American television debut on Fox Sports World in 1998, and the League has since become the centerpiece of the network’s programming schedule, with 180 matches airing in the just-concluded 2003/2004 season. Under its new, expanded agreement with the FAPL, Fox Sports World will add between 12 and 18 live Saturday late-afternoon matches to its current lineup when the new 2004/2005 season kicks off in August. Total telecasts will include as many as 195 matches per season for the next three years, plus extensive coverage in Spanish on the Fox Sports en Espanol network.

In a separate negotiation with The Football Association of England (The FA), Fox Sports World has secured exclusive North American rights for the next four seasons to the English FA Cup, the oldest and most prestigious single-elimination soccer tournament in the world. Also included in the agreement are rights to the England national team’s home qualifying matches for the 2006 FIFA World Cup; the season-opening Community Shield match pairing the previous season’s winners of the FA Cup and the Barclays English Premier League, and the Euro 2008 championship qualifiers.

“These new agreements with the Barclays English Premier League and The FA will greatly solidify Fox Sports World’s position as the No. 1 television destination for soccer in the United States,” said Sternberg. “Over the past six seasons, we have introduced the Barclays English Premier League to a whole new market of soccer enthusiasts, and we look forward to doing the same for the England national team and the FA Cup while building on our success with enhanced coverage of the Premiership.”

In addition to its unmatched coverage of English soccer, Fox Sports World is the U.S. television home of numerous other world-class soccer leagues and tournaments including the UEFA Cup, the German Bundesliga, the French Ligue 1, America’s own Major League Soccer and the ChampionsWorld Series, which in the summer of 2004 will again bring English powerhouse Manchester United to North America for a series of matches against top-level European teams.

“We have established a tremendous alliance with Fox Sports World in the North American market and we feel that this positively complements our own investment in the future growth of football worldwide,” stated Richard Scudamore, Chief Executive of the FA Premier League.

The FA Premier League has long been regarded as the finest soccer league in the world, featuring such legendary clubs as Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. Arsenal of London recently secured the 2003/2004 Premiership title with an unbeaten season, the first in top-flight English soccer in 115 years. The English FA Cup, meanwhile, last weekend crowned Manchester United as its 2003/2004 champion following a thrilling competition that included 595 clubs from all levels of English soccer.

Through special arrangements made with both the FAPL and The FA organizations, both the FA Premier League and The FA Cup trophies were flown in for display during the press conference.

Fox Sports World is available through affiliated cable systems, and through DirecTV and Dish Network satellite providers. Fox Sports World is affiliated with Fox Sports International, an international sports programming and production entity housed within the Fox Cable Networks Group, one of the major operating units within the Fox Entertainment Group (NYSE:FOX) and News Corporation (NYSE:NWS). For more information, visit Fox Sports World online at foxsportsworld.com.

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