The FA Cup is a coveted silverware but its prize money is more important

As the upcoming clash between the two Manchester clubs looms at Wembley this weekend, there is not only excitement for the football match but also anticipation for the significant economic impact that this historic event will bring.

The FA Cup holds great significance as a symbol of tradition and is also a major financial force. Wembley Stadium, the revered home of English football, will welcome approximately 90,000 fans, with an estimated global audience of around 500 million viewers.

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The prize money for the 2023/24 season of the FA Cup is a testament to its importance in the football calendar. Clubs earn their share based on their progression in the tournament, which serves as a crucial financial lifeline, particularly for lower league teams. Below is a breakdown of how the prize money is distributed:

The Emirates FA Cup
Season 2023-24
Payments made from The FA’s prize fund

Extra preliminary round winners(208)£1,125
Extra preliminary round losers(208) £375
Preliminary round winners(136)£1,444
Preliminary round losers(136)£481 
First round qualifying winners(112)£2,250
First round qualifying losers (112) £750 
Second round qualifying winners(80)£3,375
Second round qualifying losers(80)£1,125
Third round qualifying winners(40)£5,625
Third round qualifying losers (40) £1,875 
Fourth round qualifying winners(32)£9,375
Fourth round qualifying losers (32) £3,125 
First round proper winners(40)£41,000
Second round proper winners(20)£67,000
Third round proper winners(32)£105,000
Fourth round proper winners (16) £120,000 
Fifth round proper winners(8)£225,000
Quarter-final winners(4)£450,000
Semi-final winners(2)£1,000,000
Semi-final losers(2)£500,000
Final runners-up(1)£1,000,000
Final winners(1)£2,000,000
Source: FA

Television rights remain a significant source of income for the FA Cup. The FA has secured lucrative broadcasting agreements that have brought the excitement of the FA Cup to millions of viewers worldwide.

ESPN and the English FA have recently reached a four-year extension for TV rights in the United States. The new deal will run until 2028, with ESPN+ exclusively streaming 79 matches per season.

According to the Sports Business Journal’s 2018 report, ESPN agreed to pay $55 million over three years for FA Cup rights as part of a larger agreement with IMG, which included other leagues. This agreement was extended in 2021. Official figures for the new extension have not been released yet, but it is expected to be a larger sum.

BBC Sport (UK) will continue to provide free-to-air coverage of the FA Cup after securing a four-year deal starting from the 2025-26 season. In partnership with TNT Sports, BBC Sport will broadcast 14 games per season, including the final at Wembley.

The FA Cup also attracts numerous sponsors who want to be associated with the prestige of the competition. Major brands view it as an opportunity to reach a diverse and passionate audience. Sponsorship deals make a significant contribution to the event.

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