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ITV FA Cup contract goes to O21

The contract to deliver outside broadcast facilities for ITV's coverage of the FA Cup and England [soccer] Internationals has been awarded to O21 Television.

This year's FA Cup tournament is likely to be shot in high definition, and O21 will provide ITV Sport with three of its existing OB units (Units 8, 7 and 6) as well as a new Presentation Unit, currently in production, that will be ready in the New Year.

"We are enhancing our resources constantly with equipment upgrades and new builds to ensure we stay ahead of the game and deliver an outstanding service for our client," said Warren Newbert, chief operating office of O21 Television.

As part of its remit to support ITV's FA Cup coverage, O21 will deliver facilities for sixteen live outside broadcasts and seventeen highlight games per season. The third, fourth, fifth and sixth rounds have two live large OBs and up to three highlight OBs and ITV will cover one semi-final as well as the final on May 30 next year. Coverage will also include every home England qualifier for the World Cup 2010 starting with England v Kazakhstan at Wembley on 11 October, as well as selected internationals.

"We have worked with O21 many times previously and they always deliver high quality broadcasts. Their experienced crew work to any challenge and they are an important partner for this new work," commented Mark Sharman, ITV Director of News and Sport.