Facebook is betting big on its Watch video service. It has been revealed that the social network is paying Bleacher Report millions of dollars for a reality show featuring NFL running back Marshawn Lynch.
The Times Warner-owned sports site will produce the show, called ‘No Script’, which will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the 2014 Super Bowl winners’ life and what he gets up to – as he returns to the NFL with the Oakland Raiders after coming out of retirement.
“We think we have a big hit on our hands,” Rory Brown, president of Bleacher Report, told Reuters. “People are going to spend more time on Facebook because of it.”
The reality show will start streaming this month, consisting of eight 10 to 15-minute episodes. Bleacher Report has full creative control but Facebook will retain exclusive rights for a period of time, after which Bleacher Report is free to use the content as it pleases.
Facebook’ Watch service rolled out to everybody in the US earlier this month. Initially, Facebook paid up to $250,000 for 20 to 30-minute scripted shows, and between $10,000 and $35,000 for shorter scripted and unscripted five to to-minute shows. However, this latest deal shows Facebook is willing to spend way in excess of those initial figures to make its offering more desirable.