SBJ/June 5 - 11, 2006/This Weeks News

AOL.com to start broadband video channel for WNBA

AOL.com and the WNBA have expanded their existing relationship with a three-year content and sponsorship deal in which AOL will host a new broadband video channel dedicated to WNBA programming and will become an official online media partner of the league.

The video-on-demand channel, to be found at AOL.com/video or WNBA.com, will feature recent game and historical highlights, contests and polls surrounding the league’s 10th anniversary season this year, behind-the-scenes features, and player interviews. The new content is scheduled to become available this week.

The sponsorship element of the deal provides for arena signage, commercial time during games aired on ESPN2, ABC and NBA TV, and presenting partner status for AOL for the league’s Coach of the Year award. It does not replicate Discover’s recent deal with the league to get the company’s logo on the court of nationally televised games.

“We’re building upon and broadening what’s already been a strong relationship, in particular seeking to capture more of that interest in video-on-demand,” said Kevin Conroy, AOL executive vice president.

The WNBA video content will also be promoted and linked within AOL’s Black Voices and Lifestyle channels.

The two parties have worked together since 2000, largely in a cross-promotional context. The new video content within the AOL portal will mark significant expansion there, as visitors previously seeking WNBA information on AOL’s main sports page have been simply passed over to WNBA.com.

Financial terms of the new deal, expected to be announced this week, were not disclosed.

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