Newport v Man Utd: How often is your team on TV in the FA Cup?
This weekend sees the FA Cup return to our TV screens, and with that comes the inevitable Manchester United match for the whole country to watch/avoid.
The Red Devils are one of the biggest clubs in the world and the broadcasters know that they will pull in a big audience for their cup ties. So big is their attraction that only one of United's FA Cup ties since 2005 has not been picked up for broadcast (a home clash with Derby County in the third round in 2017-18). That means they have been on the air 87 times out of a possible 88 in this competition in the past 19 years. Insane, right? That's a lot of TV money for a club which already has plenty knocking around.
FA Cup Markets
- Manchester City to win the FA Cup - 3/1
- Liverpool to win the FA Cup - 4/1
- Manchester United to win the FA Cup - 17/2
- Chelsea to win the FA Cup - 9/1
- Tottenham Hotspur to win the FA Cup - 10/1
In fairness, this weekend they will be travelling to League Two side Newport County in a tie which truly represents a potential example of the magic of the cup which has so often been lacking in recent years.
While the Red Devils dominate the TV stats, we've looked at which other teams get the benefit of live televised matches more often than not. Below we show how often each Premier League and EFL club has had games shown live on TV in the FA Cup (third round onwards) in the last 10 seasons, and is quite transparent that the elite of English football are heavily favoured...
Unsurprisingly, it is United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and City who have dominated the screens since the 2014-15 season, although in City's case both Tottenham Hotspur and Everton have had a greater percentage of matches shown for major TV broadcast.
The likes of Luton Town, Brentford and Sheffield United have not been considered big attractions but have also not had that Premier League pull until recently.
Leicester City's long, high-profile run in the top flight helped them gain a lot of TV attention over the last decade - most obviously when winning the FA Cup in 2021, while Leeds United's prominence is also no surprise given the size of the club. At the other side of the ledger, Birmingham City and Rotherham United have not been selected at all for FA Cup broadcast in the last 10 years.
There are six clubs in League One who have missed out on TV money completely over the studied period, but Derby County have posted some big numbers having spent much of that time in the Championship. The Rams have also had some tasty ties, including seven against Premier League opponents.
Cambridge United and Shrewsbury Town rank highly because they too have featured against Premier League outfits in Newcastle United and Liverpool respectively. Reading have also benefitted from a run to the semi-finals in 2014-15, and three games against the oft-selected Manchester United.
You probably could've predicted that Wrexham feature quite highly, and all their TV appearances have been made since 2022-23. Just call that the Hollywood effect from their co-owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds.
Newport County have been very fortunate with their air time during the past 10 years thanks to a host of magical draws. They have faced Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium in a replay and beaten then-Premier League Leicester City, as well as hosting both Manchester City and Manchester United, with the latter to take place in this year's fourth round.
Most of the division have not been as fortunate. Walsall, who are bottom of the chart, have made six third-round appearances in the last 10 years and have not seen any of their clashes televised. They hosted Leicester (who were Premier League at the time) last season in the fourth round but were overlooked by broadcasters.
*This study only took into consideration fixtures that were played on live TV channels of ITV/BBC/BT/S4C. Matches streamed on BBC iPlayer, FA Player and Facebook were not included.