In a sudden and unexpected move, Facebook has today announced that two of this week’s FA Cup fixtures will be streamed live and exclusive in the UK on Facebook Watch.
With the FA Cup fifth round kicking off this week, it’s been announced that all eight ties will be broadcast live. This is the first time Facebook has involved itself in broadcasting UK football.
So, which games is Facebook broadcasting? Take a look below.
- Reading vs Sheffield United: Firstly, it’s Tuesday’s 8pm kick-off. Reading host Premier League opposition and the Blades look to add to what has been an amazing season for them.
- Leicester City vs Birmingham City: Then, on Wednesday at 7:45pm, the Foxes host Birmingham. It’s another Premier League vs Championship tie and – while Leicester are big favourites – there’s always room for an upset in the cup.
To tune in, you’ll need to download the Facebook Watch app. It’s available on a huge range of platforms, from phones, to laptops, desktops and smart TVs.
If you’ve got a smart TV using Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV or Android TV, you’ll be able to download Facebook Watch and view both of the games.
This move was only announced today, with Facebook’s first broadcast set to take place tomorrow. That’s amazingly last-minute, and presents plenty of questions.
It seems, at this point, that Facebook is testing the water. Following experimentation from Amazon Prime, which showed Premier League fixtures over the festive period, Facebook Watch seems to be gauging the levels of interest in football streaming on its own platform.
The BBC has also added to the ways viewers can tune in to the FA Cup. Already broadcasting two games on BBC One, the platform is now also offering a temporary “pop up” iPlayer channel, which will show West Brom vs Newcastle and the all-premier-League clash, Tottenham vs Norwich.
The BBC Sport website explains:
“BBC iPlayer’s pop-up channel returns for the fifth round after its success on fourth-round weekend. As well as the two live matches and highlights, it will show great goals from classic fifth-round games from the BBC archive.
“While BBC One broadcasts Chelsea v Liverpool (19:45 GMT) on Tuesday, West Brom v Newcastle (20:00) will also be streamed on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app.
“On Wednesday, coverage of Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City (19:45) will feature on BBC One, with Tottenham v Norwich (19:45) on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and app.”
The remaining fixtures, Derby Country vs Manchester United and Portsmouth vs Arsenal, will be shown live on BT Sport.