Facebook, Twitter Seeking TV Rights: Report

Said to Have Approached Programmers About Distribution Deals 3/18/2016 9:45 AM Eastern

Two giants of social media – Facebook and Twitter – are looking to take the plunge into live TV, the New York Post reported, citing unnamed people familiar with those discussion.


Both  have approached programmers about live TV distribution deals, the report added, noting that Facebook is interested in offering a “skinny bundle” to its base of 1 billion-plus users, though it said it’s unclear how Facebook would want to market and distribute it.


“They have talked about it, but no one’s seen a demo yet,” a source told the paper, which later noted that some programmers could be interested in working with Facebook and Twitter because their platforms could help to connect them with younger audiences.


Video has become increasingly important to Facebook, and has rapidly become a big part of its social media network. In its Q4 report, Facebook said its users now watch 100 million hours of video each day on its platform.


Of recent note, Facebook confirmed to Variety that it’s in talks with the NFL about obtaining rights to live-stream games. “We’re talking to a lot of folks about live [video],” Dan Rose, Facebook’s VP of partnerships, told the publication. “There are a ton of types of content that can fit under this format.”


Both Twitter and Facebook have also expanded into social live streaming, respectively, with Periscope and Facebook Live.


And they’d be one of a large group of players that are looking to secure rights to offer pay TV services. Apple is reportedly interested in offering a national skinny bundle that includes the national broadcast TV networks, but remains mired in carriage discussions, and Amazon is said to be in talks with content players about a live streaming service

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