Facebook Signs Deal With celebrities,Media Companies To Boost live video

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the social network had signed at least 140 contracts worth a total of more than $50 million as part of the effort.

The report said Facebook was partnering with media firms, including the New York Times, CNN, BuzzFeed and Huffington Post and with personalities, including actor Kevin Hart, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, and NFL quarterback Russell Wilson.

Facebook did not offer specifics, but a statement from Justin Osofsky, Vice President of global operations and media partnerships, said the partners “were chosen based on a variety of different factors,” including their ability to produce live content.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is betting big on live videos to encourage the social network’s 1.65 billion monthly users to keep checking the service. The company still is determining how it will monetize the video service through ads. Encouraging publishers to produce a steady stream of high quality content is seen as a way to help get the initiative off the ground.

The value of individual contracts varies widely, with 17 worth more than $1 million, according to the document. The document isn’t a comprehensive accounting of all of Facebook’s (FB)  dealings with video creators, but it shows the broad scope of the tech giant’s efforts to promote its nascent Facebook Live product.

The highest-paid publisher on the document reviewed by the Journal is BuzzFeed, slated to receive $3.05 million for broadcasting live between March 2016 and March 2017. Just behind BuzzFeed is the New York Times, which is to receive $3.03 million for a 12-month deal. CNN is third, with a $2.5 million contract.