England’s first World Cup 2014 match against Italy will be shown on BBC1, the Corporation has announced, with ITV nabbing England’s two remaining group ties against Uruguay and Costa Rica.
The Italy game will be played at 11pm on 14 June while the Uruguay fixture will air on ITV at 8pm UK time on 19 June. England’s match against Costa Rica will kick off at 5pm on June 24 and be shown on ITV.
The deal sees the BBC take the first game with ITV banking on taking the next two – a move which has been shown in some quarters to demonstrate ITV’s lack of faith in England’s chances of progressing through the competition.
The BBC will have first pick of second round games and semi-finals, while ITV has the choice of the quarter-finals. Both broadcasters will show the final.
Games involving other countries have also been divvied up, with ITV securing the first game of the tournament between the hosts Brazil and Croatia. The BBC will show the plum group tie featuring the finalists from the last tournament, Spain v Holland who play on 13 June.
BBC head of TV sport Philip Bernie, said: “We’re very pleased with our selection of matches which includes England’s highly anticipated opening match with Italy along with their crucial first knockout match, if they proceed, and the first pick of the semi-finals.”
ITV’s director of sport, Niall Sloane, added: “The World Cup begins on ITV for UK viewers next year and we’re looking forward to showing live two of England’s three group matches as well as two of Brazil’s, including the tournament’s opening game between the hosts and Croatia in São Paulo.”
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