Facebook Inc is paying Time Warner Inc’s Bleacher Report millions of dollars for a reality show on Oakland Raiders star running back Marshawn Lynch.
Reuters called it "a sign that the social media firm is willing to pay top dollar to lure viewers and ads to its Watch video service."
The reality show about the Oakland Raiders running back, called “No Script,” launches at a time when Facebook and other web giants including Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) are spending billions on original content in a pitched battle for viewers. Facebook is planning to spend up to $1 billion on original shows, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Facebook’s Watch was rolled out to U.S. users last month. The company has initially been paying for a handful of shows to attract viewers to the platform.
Reuters noted that the social media giant has paid $10,000 to $35,000 for shorter-form shows and up to $250,000 for some longer-scripted shows, sources told Reuters in May.
“We think we have a big hit on our hands,” said Rory Brown, president of Bleacher Report, declining to comment on how many millions Facebook is paying Bleacher Report for the show. “People are going to spend more time on Facebook because of it.”
“No Script” will start streaming this month and consists of eight 10- to 15-minute episodes featuring various antics by Lynch, who is returning to football as a running back for the Raiders.
Lynch racked up 92 total yards Sunday afternoon in his first football game in two years.