Report: Facebook and Twitter vie for live TV rights

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook and Twitter are vying for rights to stream live television through their respective services, according to a New York Post report.

Citing sources familiar with the situation, the paper said that both companies have approached programmers about rights deals and are keen to up their live-streamed video output.

Facebook has reportedly held talks with a “wide variety of TV executives” in recent weeks, while Twitter is said to be looking to bring younger viewers to TV networks with the click of a button.

In an interview with Variety earlier this month, Facebook revealed that it had held talks with the NFL about gaining rights to live-stream American football matches.

“We’re talking to a lot of folks about live (video). There are a ton of types of content that can fit under this format,” Facebook’s vice-president of partnerships, Dan Rose, told Variety.

In a statement to the New York Post, Facebook said that live video on Facebook is a “different and complementary experience to conventional TV programming” and that it is looking at different ways to support partners so that they begin experimenting with Facebook Live.

Facebook started to test live video streaming in the US in December, allowing users to broadcast from their phone in real-time. Before this, Facebook first said last August that it would let site users connect and interact with public figures via live video, with celebrities like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Serena Williams and Michael Bublé signing up for these early trials.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said on the company’s fourth quarter 2015 earnings call last month that investing in live streaming video will be one of Twitter’s five key priorities this year.

Dorsey said that Twitter was working hard to build in full support for video and integrate broadcasters’ streams into the platform, and that the company aimed to be “a leader in live streaming video” by using its Periscope streaming service.

Tags: Facebook, live, TV, Twitter