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YouTube Red buys its first big-budget TV drama

Online video giant's paid subscription service acquires series based on "Step Up," a 2006 movie starring Channing Tatum, the New York Times reports.

YouTube Red, the online video giant's paid subscription service, scores its first big TV drama series.

Sarah Mitroff/CNET

YouTube Red is reportedly shelling out the green for its first big-budget, Hollywood-produced television drama.

The online video giant's paid subscription service has snagged a scripted series based on "Step Up," a 2006 dance movie that kickstarted actor Channing Tatum's career, the New York Times reported on Thursday. Under the deal, Lionsgate will produce 10 episodes of the show, running about 45 minutes each.

It wasn't clear how much YouTube paid for the series. Representatives for Google, its parent company, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Launched in October, the $10-a-month YouTube Red serves all of YouTube's videos without ads, and it lets members save videos to watch offline on their phone or tablet as well as play videos in the background. It also includes exclusive original shows and movies by top YouTube talent.

The service underscores YouTube's ambitions to compete with leading subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in the burgeoning online video market. Global revenue from online TV and video services is expected to reach $42 billion in 2020, more than twice the estimated $19 billion recorded last year, according to Digital TV Research.