Forget Match of the Day on the BBC or Super Sunday on Sky Sports, the new way to watch live football in the UK is on…..Facebook.
Yes you read that right, Facebook has announced a partnership with the FA and Budweiser to show live coverage of the up-coming FA Cup. So can we look forward to see Rooney, Aguero, Torres and Gerrard on Facebook as they battle it out in the oldest cup competition in the world? Well, no.
Part of the romanticism of the FA Cup is the chance for non-league teams to reach the later stages of the competition and face some of the world's biggest clubs. And it is this part of the competition which will be the focus of the first Facebook match. The ‘first kick’ match will see the titans of Ascot United take on the warriors of Wembley F.C. this Friday, 19 August in the opening match of the 2010/2011 FA Cup competition.
The game can be streamed straight from the Budweiser Facebook page. The 90-minute live stream will be available via an application Budweiser has built specifically for Facebook.
Iain Newell, Marketing Director, Budweiser UK said: “As a long-standing supporter of football globally, Budweiser is committed to bringing the world’s most prestigious knockout competition closer to the fans. What better way to demonstrate this than by broadcasting the very first kick to a global audience via Facebook. This is the first time a FA Cup tournament fixture has been broadcast live on the social network, which is great news for football fans and clubs alike.”
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Friday evening and streaming will begin from 7.30pm – though according to Budweiser, only those of legal drinking age will be allowed to watch the game.
The press release we received this morning said the game could get a potential audience of over 700 million people – though we doubt many Facebook users outside of Ascot and Wembley will be too interested in the game.