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06/08/2008

ITV.com Goes Football Crazy As Broadcaster Gears Up For Massive Season

ITV has expanded its football website in preparation for its biggest ever season, which includes live rights to the FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup and England internationals.
The new site at: www.itv.com/football will simulcast all matches broadcast on ITV1 and provide exclusive highlight packages of all the action.
In addition, ITV.com will also feature Premier and Football League highlights plus footage from the Italian, German and French League games as well as exclusive blogs, stats, games and forums.
FA Cup matches involving non-League clubs will be filmed and made available to a large audience thanks to a partnership between www.itvlocal.com, www.itv.com and The Football Association.
ITV and FA camera crews will capture early round FA Cup action on camera from the first weekend of the competition when over 400 clubs begin their bid for glory.
The footage will feature in highlight packages made available on www.itvlocal.com and www.itv.com.
Clubs that aren't covered by an ITV Local camera will be given access to an exclusive area on ITV Local's Grassroots Sport website where they can upload their own club videos for all to see.
ITV has also commissioned an original entertainment series, 'The Gloryhunter' exclusively for the new website.
The series, which launched on August 5, sees football fan Spencer Austin randomly select a UK club to follow until they lose, when he switches to the side of the victor.
All the time a team is on a winning streak he'll be living in the town, travelling to games and meeting the fans. But when their luck deserts them, Spencer, who usually supports Spurs, will drop the team and bask in the glory of the winners.
Austin has selected his first club - Grimsby Town - and has already started acquainting himself with the team and its fans ahead of their first game against Rochdale on August 9. Local fans can suggest places in Grimsby for Spencer to visit by logging on to A HREF= 'http://www.itv.com/football' TARGET = '_NEW'>www.itv.com/football.
Three-minute webisodes following 'The Gloryhunter's' exploits will feature on the site, allowing fans to track his progress and share the high of always supporting the winning team.
Elsewhere on the site, fans will have access to blogs by ITV football presenters, an exclusive blog by Hull striker Dean Windass, a round up of the best football writing from around the Web, video diaries by players, articles by football insiders, a forum and an interactive game that lets fans pit their wits against Andy Townsend. The site will also feature highlights of classic Premier League games.
(KMcA/JM)
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