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Volume 25 No. 28
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ESPN Signs Deal With Vivid Seats, Opting Out Of Pact With StubHub

ESPN has signed a deal with Vivid Seats designating the Chicago-based secondary ticket marketplace as its new official ticket provider, in turn ending a relationship with StubHub that had been in place for a decade. ESPN was in the midst of a contract with StubHub slated to last through this calendar year after a three-year extension was signed in '14. But sources said ESPN exercised an opt-out provision. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Vivid's rights are similar to ones held before by StubHub. The ticket seller will be integrated across ESPN’s digital platforms, particularly on schedule and game preview pages, and the two parties will look to co-develop content based on ticket resale trends.

The deal extends a recent run of activity for Vivid Seats that includes a partnership signed last fall with Notre Dame to create a school-branded resale platform. Given ESPN’s status as by far the most-trafficked U.S. digital sports destination, this represents a sizable increase in Vivid's exposure. “We think there’s a lot that can be done here, particularly around data and analytics,” said Vivid Seats Senior VP/Sponsorships A.J. Machosky.