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ITV wins terrestrial rights to show crucial England game

LONDON – ITV is to screen England's Euro 2004 qualifying football match against Turkey on Saturday October 11 on terrestrial TV after BSkyB agreed to share the rights to the game.

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It had been the case that the match was only to be screened live on Sky, causing an uproar, with former sports minister Tony Banks and the current minister Richard Caborn asking departing BSkyB chief executive Tony Ball to share its rights.

ITV, the BBC and Five were all interested in screening the match, which is key to England's Euro 2004 hopes.

The match will be screened live on Sky Sports from 6pm, with ITV able to broadcast the match in full after 8pm, with highlights to follow. Its transmission time will be confirmed in the next couple of days.

Brian Barwick, controller of sport for ITV, said: "We're delighted to be able to provide terrestrial viewers with the opportunity to watch coverage of such a key England match and play our part in ensuring as many viewers see it as possible."

Sky agreed to offer delayed rights to a terrestrial broadcaster following intervention from sports minister Richard Caborn.

The match is an important one for England as the team must at least draw to ensure qualification for the finals in Portugal next year.

However, England fans have been warned not to turn up to the match in Istanbul, because of concerns about crowd trouble.

The match kicks off a weekend of sport on ITV, with all the home nations playing their first Rugby World Cup matches and final Formula 1 grand prix of the season in Japan.

On Sunday, October 12, ITV1 will show live coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix from Suzuka from 6am, and three Rugby World Cup matches live -- Wales v Canada at 9am; Scotland v Japan at 11am and England v Georgia at 1pm.

ITV's Rugby World Cup coverage starts on Friday October 10 with Australia v Argentina live on ITV1 at 11.30am.

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