ESPN Will Post More Sports-Related Video On Twitter As Part Of Expanded Deal With Site
ESPN and Twitter today at the network's upfront presentation announced a "major expansion of their collaboration to post sports-related videos on the short-messaging service," according to Ovide & Hagey of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. ESPN plans to "show video-highlight clips on Twitter of major sports events in the coming year, including from soccer matches leading up to the World Cup, college football and the X Games." People can "watch the video clips on Twitter's website and mobile apps shortly after the action happens on TV." The network plans to "sell ads that will run inside the video clips, and marketing sponsors will commit to buying from Twitter a minimum value of 'promoted' -- or paid -- Twitter posts to circulate their pitches." The announcement "continues a partnership announced last year that has included sports' fans Twitter posts appearing on ESPN telecasts and a recent experiment with college football Web-video highlights on Twitter." ESPN Exec VP/Multimedia Sales Eric Johnson said, "We want to be able to push ESPN's … content wherever sports fans are. Twitter is a great opportunity for us to do that." Ovide & Hagey note in the "trial run that started last December, ESPN showed highlights of college football bowl games on Twitter" with Ford buying ads from both Twitter and ESPN "to promote the clips." ESPN said that the video highlights "were seen more than seven million times" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/14). Twitter has "similar deals with The Weather Co. and Turner Broadcasting System to promote short-form video." The company also has been "in discussions with other media companies about such partnerships" (VARIETY.com, 5/13).
PITCH PERFECT: ESPN today also announced that it will debut its first highlights-driven soccer studio show in the U.S. this summer. “ESPN FC” begins Aug. 11 and will air year-round Sunday-Friday primarily on ESPN2. Digital versions of the program will be available on ESPNFC.com. The show will focus on the EPL, UEFA Champions League, La Liga, MLS, the U.S. men’s national soccer team and the Mexican national team. Sunday editions of “ESPN FC” will be a one-hour program, while weekday versions will be 30 minutes. The show replaces “ESPN FC Press Pass,” which aired on ESPNews (ESPN).