Facebook in Talks with HBO, Showtime, Starz to Sell Subs: Report

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According to a report on Recode, Facebook wants to be the next pay TV channel aggregator. Unnamed "industry sources" told the site that Facebook is in talks with HBO, Showtime, Starz, and other cable networks to sell subscriptions through its site. Subscribers would be able to watch the content through their Facebook account or on standard TV viewing devices, like set-top boxes.

While the terms of the offer are unknown, Recode's sources believe Facebook will make an upfront payment for a multi-year arrangement, then take a portion of the subscription fees it generates.

If true, this would be a new avenue in Facebook's goal to become a video destination. That goal, so far, has seen little success. Subscribers enjoy keeping in touch with contacts on Facebook, but show little appetite to watch short- or long-form video on it.

Gizmodo was also skeptical about the success of such a venture, writing, "Who the heck wants to pay money to stream their favorite shows on Facebook when they could use the very sites they’re paying for outside of social media? Does anyone really want to spend more time on a platform that continues to corroborate claims that it is morally bankrupt and aggressively bad? Much less one that’s considered selling access to user data?"

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