Facebook Is Ready to Drop Big Money on Original TV Shows

The social network is willing to pay up to $3 million for 30-minute episodes, according to report

As it inches closer to releasing its slate of both scripted and non-scripted TV series, Facebook has put Hollywood on notice — its willing to shell out for quality shows.

The social media titan has met with several top agencies — including Creative Artists Agency, William Morris Endeavor and United Talent Agency — and let them know Facebook is willing to pay up to $3 million per episode, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.  At the same time, Facebook is looking to pay in the mid-six-figures for 30-minute sitcoms.

Mark Zuckerberg and Co. are also aiming for reality programming, dramatic series like “Scandal,” and comedy shows, according to the report. It’s steering clear of “political dramas, news [or] shows with nudity and rough language” — or in other words, looking for family-friendly content that plays well to its broad user base.

One unique aspect of Facebook’s pitch to Hollywood is it’s willing to share viewer data with its partners, unlike other streaming services like Hulu and Netflix.

Facebook’s originals are tentatively set to launch later this summer. Beyond its 30 minute shows, its also working on shorter, 5-10 minute videos that’ll come from media partners like Buzzfeed, Vox, and Group Nine Media. It’ll split its ad revenue with content creators, according to WSJ.

Facebook’s push into original content serves two purposes; it gives the company an entertainment pull for its users, and perhaps more importantly, another vehicle to run ads against. Facebook has already mastered mobile advertising, and it’ll look to harness its content slate to pull in more ad dollars.