Yahoo (YHOO) is reportedly planning to enter the TV programming space. Citing people who have been briefed on the company’s plans, The Wall Street Journal reports that the web portal plans to acquire the kind of quality programming that typically winds up on high-end cable TV networks or streaming services like Netflix (NFLX).
The publication also states that the company, whose continued focus remains firmly on creating original programming so that it drives more traffic to the site, is close to ordering four Web series. Furthermore, the Journal adds that unlike in the past, Yahoo isn’t looking for an original short-form Web series, “but rather 10-episode, half hour comedies” that engage, entertain and capture the viewer with a per-episode production budgets ranging from $700K to a few million dollars. The projects being considered would be managed by writers or directors with experience in television.
“They want to blow it out big time,” one of the people briefed on Yahoo’s plans told the Journal, adding that CEO Marissa Mayer and her CMO “have reviewed more than 100 projects over the past few months, looking for series that are ready to launch and don’t require a lot of development.”
While the company hasn’t yet finalized any programming deals, the Journal notes that the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company has entered the crowded market for top level TV series as it’s “looking at the same type of shows that Netflix and Amazon.com (AMZN) are eyeing.”
Yahoo shares fell $1.50, or 4.19 percent, to $34.26 in regular trading Friday in New York.