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Facebook will stream the opening game of the FA Cup

Could this be the future of broadcasting football?

The 2011/2012 FA Cup will for the first time in its history stream a live match via a social networking site.

Facebook has been given the nod to stream the first match of the 2011/2012 FA Cup. The match will be between the non-league's Ascot United and Wembley FC at the Racecourse Ground - probably won't be a classic.

The fixture which would usually attract an attendance of a few thousand at best, will now have a potential audience of 700 million Facebook users.

The marketing director the FA Cup's new sponsors Budweiser, Ian Newell said '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?'

The stream will be funded by Budweiser and will show the game its entirety. The winner of the match will have to get through another five tough rounds to make it into the FA Cup proper, when the first round draw includes teams from the Football League.

Streaming sport via social media has been trialled before with YouTube streaming a live match cricket match from the Indian Premier League. A figure of 72 million global page views was reported from the YouTube channel.

Ascot United vs Wembley FC will be live on Facebook on Friday 19th August.

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