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We know that Facebook has big ambitions for its original video shows, and is willing to pay the price when it comes to competing against the TV networks and streaming services like Netflix. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the social media giant has told Hollywood talent agencies that it is willing to hand over as much as $3 million per episode for original scripted TV programs.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the WSJ reports that Facebook has revealed its video budget to agencies including Creative Artists Agency, United Talent Agency, William Morris Endeavor and ICM Partners.
$3 million per episode may sound like a lot, but it’s the average price range for many high-end cable-TV shows and is less than several flagship programs. Game of Thrones, for example, costs between $6 million - $10 million per episode, while Netflix’s now canceled Sense8 reportedly cost around $9 million per episode.
Mark Zuckerberg’s firm isn’t only going after the higher end of the market; it also has its sights set on cheaper shows that cost in the hundreds of thousands range for each episode.
Facebook is said to be targeting audiences aged 13 – 34, with a focus on the 17 – 30 age group. It has already lined up "Strangers," a relationship drama about millennials, and a game show called "Last State Standing." The company reportedly wants to avoid shows about children and young teens, as well as political dramas, news, and shows with nudity and bad language.
Back in May, it was reported that the company was turning to “millennial-focused” companies such as BuzzFeed and Vox for its original video shows.
Facebook is planning to launch its original programming later this summer. It’s expected to show longer, scripted shows that last 20 – 30 minutes, which it will own, along with shorter, scripted and unscripted shows lasting 5 – 10 minutes, which are owned by the providers.