FA Cup final move will hit Asian viewers

by AP on May 13, 2011

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The FA Cup final is set to be moved from its traditional kickoff time starting next season in a bid to boost British TV audiences, which would make it harder for Asian football fans to watch the match live.

Saturday's final of world football's oldest knockout competition will start at 3 p.m. at Wembley Stadium as usual, but Football Association chairman David Bernstein wants to push the kickoff back by more than two hours in future.

"We think we will be moving to a later FA Cup final kickoff, at 5:15pm which is potentially more popular with viewers," Bernstein said. "There was some reluctance in research to do that but all in all, it is a good move that will increase the TV value of the competition."

A 5:15pm start in London would be 1:15am in Tokyo and 12:15am in Hong Kong.

Manchester City takes on Stoke in Saturday's final.