×

Facebook Unveils Shows From 30-Plus Partners Including Univision, MLB, NBA, Hearst, Time Inc.

Facebook is finally getting ready to unveil its premium video efforts. The company announced a new “Watch” tab for its mobile apps Wednesday afternoon, which will feature professionally-produced short-form content from a variety of partners, including A&E, Hearst, MLB, Time Inc., and others.

The new tab, as well as the premium content partnerships, are part of a major expansion into video that executives have hinted at for months. As part of that roll-out, Facebook will also make Watch available on desktop as well as via its connected TV apps, a spokesperson told Variety.

Some of the shows will be live, including MLB’s live broadcast of a baseball game every Friday night. And Facebook will introduce a new page type for shows to make it easier to browse and discover episodic content.

However, Watch will initially only be available to a limited number of users in the U.S. as part of a test before Facebook eventually launches it for everyone.

Facebook executives have repeatedly talked about seeding their video ambitions with direct investments in content over the past couple of months, and the company’s CFO David Wehner said during a recent earnings call that these investments will show up in Facebook’s balance sheets toward the end of the year. “Video will continue to be a big focus and area of investment for us,” he said.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the deals the company made with its partners for this rollout, but she confirmed that Facebook had opened its pocketbook for the production of at least two titles: “Returning the Favor” starring Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame, a show that explores the theme of community and giving back; and “Ball in the Family,” a reality series about the family of LaVar Ball.

The company envisions to eventually open up its premium video platform to all kinds of creators. At launch, Facebook aims to have several hundred shows on its platform, including the following slate of shows from major partners:

— A&E’s “Bae or Bail,” which Facebook describes this way: “Unsuspecting couples put their relationship and wits to the test as they’re thrown into terrifying scenarios.”

— All Def Digital’s “Inside the Office,” which is billed as a workplace about Russell Simmons’ online venture.

— Brit & Co‘s “Tiny Houses,” a show about — you guessed it — tiny houses.

— Cheddar is launching a live news show.

— Condé Nast Entertainment’s “Virtually Dating,” a show that has couples dating in virtual reality.

— David Lopez’s “My Social Media Life,” a reality TV show about the social media star.

— Golden State Warriors’ “Championship Rewind,” a look at the Warriors’ 2016-17 championship season.

— Hearst Magazines Digital Media’s “Wiki What,” a show that has celebrities reviewing Wikipedia pages hosted by comedian Josh Gondelman (writer for HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”).

— Univision Deportes “Liga MX,” featuring live matches.

— McClatchy’sTitletown TX,” a high school football show that Facebook bills as “a real-life version of ‘Friday Night Lights.'”

— Major League Baseball’s “MLB Live,” featuring a live blackout-free Major League Baseball game every Friday night.

— MLS and Univision Deportes’ “MLS en Univision” features live MLS games on Facebook.

— National Geographic’s “We’re Wired that Way,” a science show about the way humans tick.

— Nas Daily, a show from travel blogger Nuseir Yassin.

— NBA’s “WNBA All-Access” aims to give a behind-the-scenes look at WNBA stars.

— Tastemade’s “Kitchen Little,” a kids’ cooking show.

— Time, Inc.’s “Celeb Moms Get Real,” a look at how stars who are parents.

— Thrillist’s “Food/Groups,” a show about local communities and their food.

— WSL’s “WSL Surfing Sundays” aims to capture all the best waves and best surfing from World Surf League Championship Tour events.

Todd Spangler contributed to this report.

More Digital

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

  • Velvet Buzzsaw trailer

    Netflix Original Movies: What to Look Forward To in 2019

    Following the biggest fourth-quarter worldwide subscriber gain ever and some controversy around increased prices in the U.S., Netflix looks to keep its momentum going into 2019. From Jan. 18 through March, the streaming site will release 10 original films, including action-packed thrillers, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi, quirky comedies, inspirational dramas, an artistic horror movie and a viral [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Release of Docs to Reveal How Facebook Made Money Off Children

    Documents related to a 2012 lawsuit against Facebook in which children, sometimes unwittingly, spent their parents’ money on games via the social site will be unsealed, according to a Monday ruling from the United States District Court. The court gave Facebook ten days to file unredacted documents in accordance with the ruling. The 2012 lawsuit [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Sets Up New Product Group for AR Glasses (Report)

    Facebook has restructured its augmented and virtual reality research division and set up a new group tasked with building augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to a new Business Insider report. Facebook acknowledged the move in a statement given to the publication, saying that the move affected “a few hundred people.” The group has already built [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content