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Facebook seeking to procure original shows as part of video expansion

Facebook is moving beyond its existing Live video media partnerships to license exclusive shows from TV studios and other content producers.

The company has begun the initial stages of the talks, which will see it explore the introduction of scripted shows, game shows and sports broadcasts on its social network, Recode reports. Facebook’s head of global creative strategy Ricky Van Veen, who is best known for co-founding the viral video site CollegeHumor, is leading the initiative.

Veen said the following in a statement: “Our goal is to kick-start an ecosystem of partner content for the tab, so we’re exploring funding some seed video content, including original and licensed scripted, unscripted, and sports content, that takes advantage of mobile and the social interaction unique to Facebook. Our goal is to show people what is possible on the platform and learn as we continue to work with video partners around the world.”

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The Facebook video tab can be found tucked away in the side-bar next to the News Feed. It also boasts Live video, generated by users and Pages — the aforementioned media partnerships have seen it ink multimillion-dollar Live content deals with the likes of BuzzFeed, CNN, and The New York Times.

Chances are, if Facebook can lure some big names to its platform, it will expand upon the video tab by giving it more prominence. It could even copy Twitter and build its own dedicated video app for third-party products and connected devices.

For now, Facebook has reportedly refrained from drawing up a budget for its video venture. Instead of investing billions of dollars into original programming (in the vein of Netflix and Amazon), it’s taking more of an experimental approach by considering a range of formats, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Recode.

However — alongside its claims that video will be the dominant form of content on its website within the next five years — the talks give us an indication of the range of content it plans to serve to its users.