Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter have both approached the big traditional program suppliers with an eye toward live-streaming popular shows, the New York Post reported.
Facebook, which has been meeting with the NFL in hopes of obtaining live streaming rights to Thursday night games, has held numerous meetings with a "variety of TV executives" over the past few weeks, the paper said.
"All of a sudden, Facebook and Twitter are trying to get in the tent with us," one programmer told the Post. "They're each arguing their attributes and why aligning with them is to our advantage."
A Facebook agency PR rep responded with this statement: "Facebook Live is a new and different experience to traditional broadcasting. It's personal, social, real-time and authentic, and we're just starting to understand its potential. To that end, we're testing different ways to support partners so they begin experimenting with Facebook Live in a way that fits with our platform. We believe that live video on Facebook is a different and complementary experience to conventional TV programming. We have an early beta program for a small number of partners to help support them as they explore Facebook Live, and our goal with live video is to work with our partners to move to a sustainable monetization model quickly. We are not focused on acquiring the rights to conventional TV programs."
Facebook has even discussed creating a skinny subscription bundle for its global base of more than 1 billion users, the report added.
Programmers are said to be skeptical, largely based on their experiences with YouTube (NASDAQ: GOOG).
"So far, YouTube is the only one making money," said one executive, describing personal dealings with the Google-owned streaming platform.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Facebook altered an algorithm to push live video streams to the top of users' news feeds.
Facebook also launched its Live Video feature for iOS users in January, and the offering is gradually being deployed on Android devices. The Periscope-like feature enables users to broadcast live video to other Facebook users and watch the broadcasts of others without needing a separate app.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company is working to create a dedicated video service that would give videos a more prominent position on the social networking site. Although details of the plan remain unclear, it could put Facebook into more direct competition with other Internet video providers like Google, as well as wireless operators like Verizon (NYSE: VZ) that are pushing their video services.
- read this New York Post story
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Updated: This story was updated to include a statement from Facebook.