Facebook has begun looking into licensing content from TV studios and other producers in an effort to beef up video offerings on its platform.
Ricky Van Veen, Facebook’s recently hired head of global creative strategy, told Recode that Facebook is looking at putting more money into growing its content.
“Earlier this year, we started rolling out the Video tab, a dedicated place for video on Facebook. Our goal is to kickstart an ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we're exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world,” said Van Veen in a statement provided to the publication.
According to the report, it’s unclear how much money Facebook is willing to dedicate to licensing content. The company has already made investments to help grow its Facebook Live feature.
Earlier this year, Facebook shelled out more $50 million to companies like Vox Media, Tastemade, Mashable and the Huffington Post, as well as celebrities including Kevin Hart and Russell Wilson, to get them to create original videos for the platform.
But this new effort from Facebook could potentially give the company more control over what types of content it’s bringing to its platform. Of course, if Facebook is serious about bringing live sports to social media channels, it could end up having to spend much more than $50 million.
Popular leagues like the NFL are able to wring huge amounts of cash out of programmers looking to license its games. Earlier this year, CBS and NBC reportedly agreed to pay $450 million each year for the rights to air 10 NFL Thursday night games.
Of course, Twitter didn’t end up paying nearly that much for the rights it won to live-stream NFL games. The social media competitor, which went up against Facebook and others for the streaming rights, reportedly ended up paying $10 million, a relatively small amount compared to the princely sums afforded by some more traditional broadcasters.