ESPN’s Customer Marketing and Sales announces that ESPN will join the MAGNA Consortium, a group dedicated to using data and technology to unlock the true power of all media. ESPN will contribute to the Consortium’s efforts to test new standards to drive efficiency and automation across all media transactions. “Given the dynamic nature of live sports programming, these new models have the potential to increase our efficiency and campaign effectiveness across all platforms,” said Eric Johnson, executive vice president of multimedia sales at ESPN. “Ultimately this will allow our teams to spend less time on nominal tasks and more time on creativity and activation, thereby further enhancing our premium sales proposition and client service.” Johnson will speak about the collaboration on a panel hosted by MAGNA GLOBAL at Advertising Week New York on Sept. 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET in the TimesCenter Hall. Titled The Future of Media is Here: The Automation Revolution, the panel will be moderated by MAGNA’s Worldwide CEO Tim Spengler, with additional panelists from Consortium members A+E Networks, AOL, Cablevision, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment and Tribune. Added Spengler, “MAGNA and IPG Mediabrands are committed to automation and to expanding the pipeline of available inventory that can be planned and purchased through automated means. As the industry’s premier source for premium sports content, ESPN’s commitment is crucial to the advancement of our automation agenda, and we are thrilled that they have joined our cause.” The MAGNA Consortium, formally launched in Aug. of 2013 with seven charter members from across the television, radio, and digital industries, including A+E Networks, AOL, Cablevision, ClearChannel Media and Entertainment and Tribune; aims to substantially improve the media planning and buying process, leading the way to a scalable, omni-channel marketplace. Some of the goals of the Consortium include to develop and drive more precise targeting and greater performance through the use of data, explore opportunities to modernize; streamline media negotiations through expanded use of data and technology- based buying platforms; and to apply technological solutions to automate legacy buying systems and processes across traditional and digital media.