Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!
Jason Alden—Bloomberg/Getty Images
April 6, 2014 1:41 PM EDT

Yahoo is breaking into television with plans to order four Web series as the company plans to challenge high-end cable networks and streaming services like Netflix for ad dollars, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper cited anonymous sources saying the Internet giant is looking to provide alternatives to Google’s YouTube by reportedly aiming to schedule 10-episode, half hour comedies with per-episode budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars. The projects would be led by writers and directors with television experience.

The deals haven’t been finalized, but would be part of Yahoo’s plan to try to shift advertisers’ budgets to online. The company is reportedly looking at the same types of shows Netflix and Amazon are eyeing.

Under CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has worked hard to improve its video content, striking partnerships with TV news journalist Katie Couric and former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue, as well entering talks to acquire online video service News Distribution Network Inc.


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