Facebook Targets Reality Show Deal With Cristiano Ronaldo

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Facebook has reportedly held talks with various partners over an original Cristiano Ronaldo reality show designed for its Facebook Watch service, Variety reports, citing sources familiar with the happening. The social networking giant is supposedly set to pay Ronaldo $10 million in talent fees for a 13-episode series, provided the parties push through with the negotiation. The show would mark Facebook's largest deal as part of its efforts to bring original video content to its video platform.

The reality show is said to be produced by Matador Content and Religion of Sports, though it remains unclear in what stage the talks are in. Ronaldo is followed by 122,766,138 million Facebook users on the social networking site, being the most popular athlete by that metric. This wouldn't be the first partnership between Ronaldo and Facebook: the superstar already struck a drama series deal for Facebook Watch. The Watch platform was announced in August last year as a comprehensive video hub for exploring new content. Watch is currently only available to select users in the United States, though it is set for a wider release in the near future.

While the potential deal may be Facebook's biggest Watch bets to date, it is not the social media titan's first investment in high-profile original video content. The Menlo Park, California-based company previously aired original content such as Ball in the Family and over a dozen other shows. Facebook began showing interest in spending large sums of money on original video content several years back, presumably as part of a bid to take on YouTube more directly. The goal over the long term is to find new ways of expanding its revenue stream, though it's still unclear how the firm will be looking to monetize its Watch platform moving forward. For the time being, Watch is still primarily focused on growth.

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