This season’s EFL Cup will officially get underway today (Wednesday 22 June) with the Round One draw being broadcast on Facebook Live.
In a first for British football, the EFL (English Football League) has joined forces with Sky Sports to live stream the EFL Cup Round One draw as a Facebook Live event, providing millions of fans at home and abroad the chance to watch the draw unfold wherever they may be.
Taking place at 1pm today, fans eager to see where the road to Wembley begins for their club can watch the stream onthe official EFL Cup Facebook page, as well as Sky Sports’ Facebook page, skysports.com and the Sky Sports app.
Round One of the re-named cup competition includes 70 of the 72 EFL clubs this season, with the draw being seeded as well as regionalised on a north/south basis. Seedings are based on club finishing positions in the league last season.
The draw will be broadcast live from Sky Sports’ studios, with the event hosted by Tom White. Former Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers and England player Ray Wilkins will be tasked with making the draw. The activity marks the first time a major football cup draw has been streamed as a Facebook Live event.
Commenting on the new EFL Cup Round One draw format, Drew Barrand, Marketing Director of the EFL, said: “Facebook Live hadn’t even been launched when we did last year’s Round One draw, so this really is a great opportunity for us to do something different to ensure as many fans as possible can engage with our competitions.
“The Round One draw is not usually broadcast and traditionally just announced as a list but with our Facebook network of official EFL and club pages having a combined audience of over 15 million fans it is a natural platform for us provide content like this.”
David Gibbs Digital Director, Sky Sports & Sky News said: “As a close partner of Facebook, we’re pleased to be working with the EFL to bring the EFL Cup draw to the platform.
“We recognise that our audience want to consume our content on lots of different platforms so bringing this to our 9 million followers on Facebook as well on our 30 million plus users on our own digital platforms helps bring this to even bigger audience.”
Manchester City are the current holders of the EFL Cup, having beaten Liverpool in last season’s final in February. The 2016/17 EFL Cup Final, the 57th in the competition’s history, will take place at Wembley on Sunday 26th February 2017.
Preston North End
Brighton & Hove Albion
Milton Keynes Dons
Queens Park Rangers