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Yahoo reportedly eyes push into original video programming

Internet company plans to acquire high-end original programming, joining the likes of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Yahoo is ramping up its online video efforts with plans to acquire high-end original programming usually found on cable TV, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Internet company plans to order four different Web series that would appear on the Web as half-hour comedies, sources tell the newspaper. The new comedies, which are expected to have per-episode budgets of up to a few million dollars, are expected to be unveiled for advertisers on April 28 during Yahoo's "NewFront" event.

CNET has contacted Yahoo for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

Yahoo will be joining an increasingly crowded field of Web sites jockeying for TV advertising dollars. In addition to traditional TV stations, Yahoo will also be competing against the likes of Amazon and Hulu, as well Netflix, which has already scored a hit with its original full-length series "House of Cards".

In the past six months, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has made a series of moves aimed at increasing the company's focus on video. After Mayer said last November that Yahoo's aim was about " entertaining", the company landed ABC News personality Katie Couric.

In late March, Yahoo was reportedly in talks to acquire video syndication service News Distribution Network for $300 million, another move aimed at better economic terms, such as improved ad revenue or guaranteed ad rates.