Every Manchester United FA Cup game has been broadcast live for over ten years

Their Fourth Round game against Wigan will be the 56th in a row to air live on television

BY Daniel Kelly 11:15 Wednesday 18 January 2017, 11:15 18 Jan 2017

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick lift the FA Cup trophy after the team defeated Crystal Palace in last season's final. Photo credit: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

Picking FA Cup matches to broadcast can be a tricky business.

Do television stations take a gamble and broadcast a potential upset (like Lincoln City's win over Ipswich Town), or do they pick a glamour tie involving Premier League teams?

Over the past ten-years all FA Cup broadcasters in England have followed a simple rule. If Manchester United are playing, broadcast their match.

After Tuesday's games were completed, it was confirmed that United's match against former champions Wigan Athletic will be broadcast on BBC as one of their Fourth Round picks. That game will be the 56th consecutive Manchester United FA Cup match in a row shown live on British television.

The run began in 2005, when the Third Round Replay between Alex Ferguson's side and Exeter City was broadcast on the BBC. Since then every match (including seven replays) have been on the national airwaves.

While all Sixth Round, Semi-Final and Final matches are broadcast live, no matter who is playing, some questionable and unexciting ties have been made solely on the fact of the game involving Manchester United. 

After defeating Reading in the Third Round, the run only came to an end as a result of Crystal Palace defeating Bolton Wanderers. If Bolton won the Third Round Replay, BBC were to broadcast their Fourth Round tie against Manchester City.

Depsite their fall from grace in recent years, Manchester United still attract viewers on both terrestrial and satellite television.


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