FA Cup soccer match to stream live on Facebook

Facebook is taking another step toward making live streaming video a fixture on the site, planning on Friday to show an FA Cup preliminary round soccer match between British clubs Ascot United and Wembley FC.

The social networking giant will stream the non-league Football Association match live on its website on Friday evening from Ascot Racecourse--which has a capacity of 1,500--to a global audience, the first time the site has streamed a soccer match live.

"The FA Cup started 140 years ago this year and what better way to do demonstrate our commitment than by broadcasting the very first kick to a global audience via Facebook," said Ian Newell, head of sponsor Budweiser's U.K. marketing operation. "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."

"We had 88 people for a league match last night but might get 500 or even 800 for Friday's game," said Ascot chairman Mike Harrison. "The fact millions more might well be watching on Facebook is astonishing."

The FA said additional matches might be shown on Facebook but added that so far none had been scheduled to do so. Once the preliminary rounds are played, games will be broadcast on ITV and ESPN.

Facebook earlier this year streamed several Major League Baseball spring games, and in March it began trialing video on demand with Warner Bros. In July, the site signed a content deal that brought Doctor Who and fan favorite Top Gear to users in exchange for Facebook credits.

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