TV-style programming could be coming to Facebook

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NEW YORK— Facebook wants people watching TV-style shows right inside the social network.

So the company is talking with Hollywood studios and other producers about licensing “scripted, unscripted and sports content.”

That means sitcoms, dramas, sporting events and other types of programming could be coming to Facebook in the coming months.

For now Facebook is characterizing this as an experiment. The closest parallels are the company’s recent payments to news organizations and other media companies to make live video, which helped to introduce Facebook Live to the public earlier this year.

Now Facebook is seeking pre-taped and scripted programming. In both cases the overarching goal is the same: to encourage users to spend more time interacting with content on Facebook.

The company is just starting to have conversations with possible media partners for pre-taped programming, a spokeswoman said.

Recode was first to report on the talks on Wednesday.

“Earlier this year, we started rolling out the Video tab, a dedicated place for video on Facebook. Our goal is to kickstart 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,” Ricky Van Veen, the company’s head of global creative strategy, said in a statement.

“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,” he added.