Tonight marks a world first for social media and English football, as Facebook live streams a professional football match between two Premier League teams.
The live-streamed Facebook match will see Manchester United go up against Everton in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial match. Profits from the broadcast will go to four charities of Wayne Rooney’s choice, including his own Wayne Rooney Foundation. Bearing in mind this stream will potentially be available to Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, this has huge potential as a charity effort.
This could also be the first time Manchester United’s new signings are shown off, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly all in the running to appear.
This isn’t the first time online platforms have been used to air a live professional football game though. Earlier this year, both the Europa League and Champions League finals were streamed live on Facebook.
Never one to be left behind, Twitter has plans to begin streaming more live sports too. Twitter has already streamed Wimbledon coverage and now the social media platform is reportedly partnering with American sports bodies including the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.
The Manchester United live game stream might be a one-off for Facebook initially, but it potentially opens the doors to a new player in the sports streaming broadcast world. Anything that keeps Sky and BT from monopolising the English broadcasting rights has to be a good thing, right?
How to watch the Wayne Rooney testimonial match on Facebook
The Man U vs Everton testimonial game will be streamed on Facebook from 19:15 BST tonight (August 3) with kick-off set for 20:00. You can stream the game via Manchester United’s Facebook page as well as via team’s striker Wayne Rooney’s Facebook page.