Digital Transformation

Channel 4 to launch weekly news show on Facebook Watch

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By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

November 12, 2018 | 4 min read

Channel 4 has inked a deal with Facebook Watch to broadcast an exclusive weekly news show on the service, Uncovered.

Focused on international, under-reported stories, each 10-minute vertical episode will deliver "serious, impactful, and revelatory journalism" from the Channel 4 news team's special correspondents from around the world.

The announcement comes just two months after Facebook revealed it was taking Watch global, and Channel 4's output will be available to international audiences.

channel 4 news studio

Focused on international, under-reported stories, each 10-minute episode will deliver "serious, impactful, and revelatory journa / Channel 4

The show marks the latest commission from Facebook as part of its funded news shows initiative announced earlier this year. Broadcasters and publishers involved receive marketing support in Facebook's news feed to drive interest in the Watch shows.

The news section on Watch already features a number of series from US broadcasters including Fox News, CNN and ABC. The BBC has also recently launched a weekly update called Cut Through the Noise for US viewers.

Facebook takes a 45% cut of revenues made by publishers running ads against their content on Watch.

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Any pages are eligible for ad breaks on the YouTube-style service so long as the publisher has: been creating videos that are at least three-minutes long and generating more than 30,000 one-minute views overall in the past two months; has 10,000 followers; and meet Facebook’s eligibility standards. So, if it chooses to, Channel 4 will be able to monetise Uncovered.

In 2016, the Channel 4 News page clocked up 2bn video views on Facebook. Speaking to The Drum last year, however, Channel 4 news editor Ben de Pear said that for all the traffic and credentials the broadcaster's high-quality content brought to the social network it received a "tiny, miniscule amount of money" from the tech giant in return.

Commenting on the Watch partnership, de Pear said: “When the credibility of news is being constantly challenged, never has it been more important to increase the visibility and reach of high-quality sources of news across social network platforms.

“That is why we are excited to work with Facebook Watch, bringing together compelling content on a platform that connects audiences with timely and reliable news videos, produced by serious news organisations and being properly funded.”

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