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Facebook TV programming is scheduled to debut by the end of summer—and it’ll cost millions

Facebook is ready to spend millions per episode.


Chris Tognotti


Posted on Jun 25, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 1:56 am CDT

The world of online entertainment is about to get a little more crowded, as Facebook is planning to leap into the TV programming by the end of this summer. And it’s planning to spend millions of dollars to make it happen. 

In May, reports suggested the social media giant was planning to roll out a couple dozen shows at launch, a mixture of high-end, pricier shows and shorter, lower-budget blasts of video content. It sounds like there are some thoroughly innovative ideas being kicked around, too—like a virtual-reality based dating show.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that the priciest of Facebook’s top-flight shows, while not meant to directly compete with other top-flight prestige paid TV services like HBO and Netflix, would boast budgets of up to $200,000 per episode. The smaller, quick-hitting projects, on the other hand, will have an average production cost of between $10,000-$20,000, and websites like BuzzFeed and Vox are reportedly in the mix to produce content.

According to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, however, it sounds like Facebook is now willing to raise the high-end episode budgets even further. While meeting with Hollywood talent agencies like William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, Facebook signaled it could actually spend up to $3 million per episode, a staggering 1,400 percent increase on the previously reported $200,000 figure.

While the majority of the shows Facebook will produce aren’t yet known, the company reportedly picked up the now-defunct MTV series Loosely Exactly Nicole and a reality series titled Last State Standing.

The rollout of Facebook TV was originally slated for mid-June, but from the sounds of things, the company is slowing down the process, as reports now indicate that a new “video” tab on the social media site will be going live by the end of summer. For a frame of reference, the final day of summer in 2017 is Friday, Sept. 22.

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*First Published: Jun 25, 2017, 12:36 pm CDT