Networks pact with Football Assn. for rights

HOLLYWOOD — U.S. soccer fans can get their fix of the top British games thanks to new four-year rights deals struck by Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports, which operates a pay network dedicated to soccer and rugby.

The pacts with the Football Assn., England’s governing body for soccer, give Fox and Dublin-based Setanta equal coverage rights to the FA Cup, the world’s oldest knockout soccer tourney, in the seasons running 2008-09 through 2011-12.

They also get rights to the FA Community Shield, an annual match between the FA Cup holders and the Premier League title holders, which this year pitches Portsmouth against Manchester United.

In addition, the agreement includes a selection of live and exclusive home matches involving the England team as they seek qualification to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

No financial details were disclosed.

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