AOL to Include ESPN Content via Syndicated Video Player
ESPN’s First Online Video Syndication Agreement to Deliver Short-Form Sports Programming from ESPN.com to AOL Video and AOL Sports
New York, NY and Dulles, VA.– ESPN and AOL announced that ESPN.com will make its short-form online video content accessible directly through AOL Video (http://video.aol.com), and AOL Sports (http://sports.aol.com/), marking the first time ESPN has syndicated its video content through an Internet portal. ESPN will offer highlights from games and major sporting events as well as video clips from ESPN original programming via an embedded ESPN video player. The ESPN channel page (http://video.aol.com/video-category/espn/112704) launched yesterday on AOL Video.
“ESPN.com video is second to none, and we are excited by the expanded reach afforded us through this syndication agreement,“ said Matt Murphy, Senior Vice President, Digital Video Distribution at ESPN. ”Working with AOL allows us to offer new benefits to fans and advertisers--viewers can now access the programming they want, whether they are on ESPN.com or AOL’s portal, while our advertisers benefit from a larger online video audience than ever before. The potential is tremendous and we hope fans will be seeing more syndicated video from ESPN.com in the future.”
“We are very pleased that ESPN has chosen to collaborate with AOL Video in the rapidly evolving world of online content distribution,” said Kevin Conroy, Executive Vice President, AOL. “ESPN is joining an impressive roster of partners on AOL Video that includes all four major networks and a myriad of cable channels. This agreement further demonstrates our on-going commitment to providing consumers with easy access to the best and most relevant video content on the Web.”
Content available through ESPN’s embedded video player on AOL includes SportsCenter Right Now, a twice-daily capsule of top sports stories, highlights and breaking news; clips from ESPN programs such as Mike and Mike in the Morning, Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn; and breaking news and game clips from major professional and college teams and sporting events. The multi-sport video player will also offer links to ESPN.com content related to the video topics.
Users can access the ESPN content through AOL Video’s channel tab located on the homepage. In addition, ESPN’s videos will easily be found through AOL’s video search which is powered by leading video search engine, Truveo.
Already, ESPN Video is among the most popular online. In 2007, fans viewed ESPN.com videos more than 1.2 billion times, a 54 percent increase over 2006. Fans, on average, viewed more than 105 million videos per month for the year (growing to an average of more than 127 million for Sept. – Dec.). Further, ESPN.com solidified its leadership position within the online sports video space, a fact reflected in a recent Horowitz Associates report. According to the report, ESPN.com was named most often (unaided) by those surveyed as the site they go to for sports video (with nearly four times greater unaided response than any other site named). The report also found that sports is among the most popular overall segments for online video – with one in five high speed Internet users watching sports video weekly. (Source: Horowitz Associates, Broadband Content and Services, Dec. 2007)
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