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MGM Television Inks Snap Deal, First Studio to Produce Snapchat Shows

Variety logo Variety 3/21/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

More TV-style programming is set to flit across Snapchat screens: MGM Television announced a deal with Snap. Inc to develop and produce original short-form shows for Snapchat’s Discover platform.

The pact marks Snap’s first content deal with a major entertainment studio. MGM Television didn’t provide details on what kinds of shows it expects to make for Snapchat or when those would appear.

In any case, it’s the latest media partnership for Snap, which has been signing up TV networks — eager to reach Snapchat’s millennial-skewing user base — left and right. Snap has deals with ABC, NBC, ESPN, the NFL, Turner, the BBC, Vice Media and A+E Networks and Discovery Communications, which are either producing shows for Snapchat or have already premiered them on the messaging and media platform.

“The team at Snap is thinking about mobile TV differently than anyone else in this space,” said Barry Poznick, president of unscripted for MGM Television. “They are innovators, and it presents us with a unique opportunity to flex our development and production muscle in a whole new way.”

Added Nick Bell, VP of content for Snap: “MGM has an incredible pool of talent — from producers and directors to writers — that we’re excited to tap into as we join forces to develop shows.”

Snapchat’s shows are standalone original programming, based on existing properties (like NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” or ABC’s “The Bachelor”) or developed specifically for Snapchat. The shows are shot in a vertical oriented for mobile phones and typically run 4-5 minutes per episode.

MGM Television’s deal with Snap follows the studio’s co-production pact with Jukin Media to produce new competition-format programs using user-generated content, with the partners angling to sell shows to TV networks or subscription VOD services. For traditional TV, MGM Television’s current projects include “Fargo” (FX); “Vikings” (History); “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu); “Get Shorty” (Epix); “The Voice” (NBC); “Survivor” (CBS); and “Shark Tank” (ABC).

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