October 11, 2013
AOL and ESPN announced a new syndication deal this week that includes distribution of the sports programmer’s video content, excluding live TV, via AOL.com and the company’s network of partners. ESPN’s live programming will remain available to subscribers online and on mobile devices through the WatchESPN service. AOL began distributing ESPN’s news, highlights and analysis on Tuesday. ESPN has additional video deals with Apple and Microsoft’s Xbox.
“Terms of the deal were not disclosed,” reports Variety. “The companies said ad sales for the video content will be led by ESPN and revenue will be shared by both parties along with AOL’s syndication partners.”
“ESPN, majority-owned by Disney, will provide AOL with ESPN-branded video content from its ‘SportsCenter’ highlights show franchise and other programs covering a wide array of sports. AOL will syndicate ESPN video content across both its owned-and-operated sites, including AOL.com and The Huffington Post, along its network of partners that includes 1,700 publishers and mobile phones, tablets and connected TV devices.”
“AOL’s network will provide sports fans a truly engaging online experience with ESPN-produced and ESPN-branded premium video,” said Matt Murphy, ESPN’s senior VP of digital video distribution. “We see a real opportunity in our ability to curate and syndicate locally relevant content to AOL’s vast network of local sites.”
The companies will work together to identify relevant clips and program content across AOL’s network.