Manchester United’s 13-year run of 58 televised FA Cup matches has come to an end, with their clash with Derby County next month a shock omission from the third-round games selected for broadcast.
Telegraph Sport can also reveal that Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace will play the first competitive match in England in which video replays will be used to overturn refereeing decisions.
The clubs’ third-round tie was chosen on Thursday to stage a live trial of so-called Video Assistant Referees (VARs) from the televised fixtures shown by the BBC and BT between January 5-8.
Those will kick off with the Merseyside derby on the BBC on the night of Friday, January 5, which was deemed too high-profile a fixture to conduct English football’s first live VAR test.
That will be followed on Saturday lunchtime by League One Fleetwood Town or non-league Hereford v Leicester City - Leicester famously bought Jamie Vardy from Fleetwood - again on the BBC.
BT Sport open that tea-time with Norwich City v Chelsea, while the Sunday games will be Shrewsbury v West Ham United (BBC) and Nottingham Forest v holders Arsenal (BT).
BT will also show the history-making ‘M23 derby’ between Brighton and Palace the following evening.
The last United cup match not to be shown live on television was the first of their defence of the trophy they won in 2004, a surprise goalless home draw against non-league Exeter City.
Their non-selection next month follows a backlash last year against their mundane third-round home clash against Reading being picked ahead of National League Sutton United’s more romantic encounter with AFC Wimbledon.
Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott said at the time: “I suppose it’s all down to viewing figures and the bottom line is more people are more likely to watch Man United than they are to watch Sutton United. But what happened to the romance of the FA Cup?”
Terrestrial broadcasters in particular have struggled to resist picking United’s FA Cup ties given there are few opportunities for them to show the club which regularly attracts the biggest UK TV audience.
The Football Association announced its intention in March to use VARs in this season’s FA Cup from the third round onwards.
Trials look set to be limited to televised games at Premier League grounds, which have the infrastructure necessary for the technology to be properly implemented.
Only Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Palace fulfilled that criteria from next month’s fixtures and the decision not to pick the former match may raise questions about the FA’s confidence in the system.
The Telegraph revealed last year that secret video technology trials were being conducted during Premier League matches in preparation for the advent of VAR in England.
The non-live experiments, which are ongoing, have been used to train referees and VARs with a view to them being ready for an anticipated change to the laws of the game in March and a full global rollout from the World Cup onwards.
Live testing, meanwhile, is continuing in international friendly matches - the first in England was last month’s goalless draw against Germany at Wembley - and in competitions signed up to the trials.
That includes in this season’s Bundesliga, where the use of VARs has been mired in controversy.
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Hellmut Krug, the former international referee appointed to oversee the system, was sidelined in October after being accused of unduly influencing two VAR penalty decisions in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg. He denied having done so.
The only incidents eligible to be overturned by video review under a protocol laid down by the International Football Association Board are goals, penalties, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.