The FA Disability Cup returns with accessible live coverage on BT Sport
FA competition provides exciting pathway for impairment-specific football
BT Sport coverage set to be most accessible live football broadcast yet seen, as part of BT’s partnership with the FA to support all levels of the game
The FA Disability Cup will return to St George’s Park on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, with BT Sport providing coverage over the weekend, the first time the Cup has been broadcast live.
The 2021 FA Disability Cup, the fifth edition of the competition, will see five cup finals scheduled across the weekend, delivered by The FA in partnership with a range of impairment-specific organisations. The Cup is the largest competition of its kind in this country, giving players within impairment-specific football a national competition of their own, complete with dreams of reaching St. George’s Park for finals weekend. BT Sport’s coverage will be presented by Alex Brooker, presenter of Channel 4’s The Last Leg, five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockcroft and, BT Sport presenter Jules Breach.
Supporting BT’s lead partnership with the four Home Nation Football Associations, which aims to boost support for disability football, BT Sport’s coverage will be available for anyone to watch without a subscription via BT Sport’s website (btsport.com), its App for mobiles, tablets, smart TVs, media adapters and games consoles, plus, its Facebook channel (facebook.com/btsport). Highlights coverage will also be available on Channel 4, on 25 July, with details announced soon.
The competition will be the most accessible live broadcast of a football match taking place in the UK to date. On each day, live coverage of all the finals will feature on three BT Sport channels with each offering different accessibility features. BT Sport 3 will feature enhanced Audio Description delivered by an expert based at St George’s Park. In addition, BT Sport Extra 1 will carry British Sign Language, with sub-titles available on BT Sport 1*. A fourth channel, BT Sport Ultimate, will provide coverage in up to 4K HDR picture quality.
Next season, BT Sport will trial the inclusion of these accessibility features around several sports. BT is committed to making these features available as standard for all of its live coverage in the future. More details on how to watch, including channel information and how to access all the accessibility features are available at btsport.com/fadisabilitycup.
How to watch
BT TV, Sky, Virgin Media customers: BT Sport Extra 1 (British Sign Language), BT Sport 3 (Enhanced Audio Description), BT Sport 1 (standard feed with sub-titles), BT Sport Ultimate (standard feed, no sub-titles. Channel not available on Sky)**.
BTSport.com + BT Sport App***: following channels available to subscribers and non-subscribers - BT Sport Extra 1 (British Sign Language), BT Sport 3 (Enhanced Audio Description), BT Sport 1 (standard feed, no sub-titles). BT Sport Ultimate (standard feed, no sub-titles, available to subscribers only)***.
Facebook (facebook.com/btsport) – BT Sport 1 (standard feed, no sub-titles) available to all.
Live schedule on BT Sport
Saturday 17 July
10.30am to 12.30pm: POWERCHAIR FINAL - Aspire PFC v West Bromwich Albion PFC
12.30pm to 3pm: CEREBRAL PALSY FINAL - North East & Yorkshire v CP North West
3pm to 5.15pm: PARTIALLY SIGHTED FINAL - Scorpions Futsal Club v Birmingham Futsal
Sunday 18 July
10.30am to 12.30pm: AMPUTEE FINAL - Peterborough United Amputees v Portsmouth Amputees
12.30pm to 2.45pm: BLIND FINAL - RNC Hereford v Merseyside Blind & VI FC
In addition, BT is using its FA partnerships to provide fans with new disability football content leading up to the competition, through a new mini-series Para Football Adventures, presented by Brooker alongside influencer and Merseyrail FC striker Chelcee Grimes. All five episodes debut on Saturday July 10 at 6.30pm on BT Sport 1, and will individually air as short minute episodes in the week prior to the Cup taking place. The series sees Grimes and Brooker explore:
England: CP Football - the story of the successful CP England Football team through players Giles Moore and Harry Baker.
Northern Ireland: Powerchair football – the country is a relative newcomer to Powerchair football and in just five years has qualified for the 2022 Powerchair World Cup in Australia.
Wales: Deaf Futsal - Alex and Chelcee learn the rules of Futsal and discover the issues around communication within this form of the game.
Scotland: Amputee Football - how amputee football has taken off in Scotland in recent years through the Amputee Football Association Scotland.
Baroness Sue Campbell, The FA’s Director of Women's Football and the organisation’s strategic lead for disability football, said: “This year’s FA Disability Cup promises to be the most exciting yet, with some of the nation’s most successful grassroots teams set to compete to be crowned national champions in their respective disciplines. Disability football is a fast growing and important format of the game so to have all of the action broadcast live on BT Sport is fantastic news and will showcase the talent of all those involved, as well as inspiring newcomers to the sport.”
Jamie Hindhaugh, chief operating officer, BT Sport, said: “BT is proud of its rich heritage in supporting disability sport, having been a founding partner of the British Paralympic Association, sponsor of the 2012 Paralympics and backing dozens of disability sports projects through the BT and Premier League Disability Programme. We are looking forward to bringing fans highly accessible coverage of the 2021 FA Disability Cup, which is set to advance BT’s vision with the four Home Nation Football Associations to provide new opportunities for everyone to enjoy the benefits of football.”
David Clarke, Director of Services at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and England’s record goal scorer in blind football, said: “At RNIB, we are delighted that audio description is coming home for blind and partially sighted football fans. Previously, the best way to feel part of the action was to be in the stadium, but with BT Sport providing live audio description for all five finals of the FA Disability Cup, fans with sight loss can enjoy an enhanced listening experience. We hope this will demonstrate what is possible and inspire other broadcasters to consider offering live audio description for more of their sports output so blind or partially sighted fans never miss that crucial moment, whether it’s a vital goal, winning shot or game-changing action.”
In the 2019 edition of the competition, North West Scorpions won the Partially Sighted Final, while another North West team - CP North West FC - were winners in the Cerebral Palsy Final. In the Powerchair Final, Aspire FC were victorious, while Everton Amputees FC lifted the Amputees Cup and Merseyside Blind & VI FC clinched the Blind Cup.
The FA will be hosting the Amputee cup final in partnership with England Amputee Football Association, the Blind cup final in partnership with the National Blind Football League, the Cerebral Palsy cup final in partnership with CP Sport, the Partially Sighted cup final in partnership with the National Partially Sighted Football League and finally, the Powerchair cup final in partnership with the Wheelchair Football Association.
*Sub-titles available to BT TV, Sky and Virgin Media viewers. See these links for more info:
**BT Sport Ultimate is available as an additional subscription service to BT Sport customers via BT TV, Virgin Media and via the app for small and large screens. It is not available on the Sky satellite platform or btsport.com. For more information visit our website.
***for a full list of the large screen platforms that the BT Sport App is available on, visit our website.
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