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Facebook plans to stream sports, comedy, reality & gaming TV series

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MUMBAI: Cable cutters never had it this good. Now, a broad range of streaming services is available on all your devices, including those that offer live TV.

Social networking giant Facebook, with around two billion monthly users, plans to start production on high-quality gaming shows and television series possibly investing up to $3 million (Rs 193 million) an 30-minute episode which would be broadcast on its platform. Facebook may announce its first batch of TV-like shows this summer, targeting 13-34 age-group audience but focusing on 17-30 range, PTI and WSJ reported. With that, Facebook is set to take on Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu.

The online platform, which has around two billion monthly users worldwide, is working on the project with a small group of partners and hopes to start putting out episodes of its forthcoming series by the end of the summer. The company is also reportedly keen on sit-com programming having signed deals for short-form content from partners such as Vox Media, ATTN, and BuzzFeed earlier this month.

It was in mid-April that Facebook originally planned to unveil its shows around its developer conference, then in time for the Cannes Lions festival, which started mid-June. But, it did not happen.

Facebook vice president for media partnerships Nick Grudin, in a statement to AFP, said its goal was to make Facebook a place where people could come together around video, observing that Facebook and its collaborators would “experiment with the kinds of shows you can build a community around — from sports to comedy to reality to gaming.”

Facebook is funding the shows on its own at first, he said, “but, over time, we want to help lots of creators make videos funded through revenue sharing products like Ad Break,” a software tool that allows adverts to be directly inserted into Facebook’s online content.

Facebook could possibly not have shows about teens, or “political dramas, news [or] shows with nudity and rough language.” So, it seems Facebook wants to be the safest, most straight-down-the-middle TV network on the web. Facebook may share ad revenue with creatives who contribute short-form content. And, in a major change from the way online competitors have been doing business, it will also open up its viewership data to “Hollywood” — presumably production partners.

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