ESPN And AOL Strike Premium Video Syndication Agreement

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) and ESPN today announced they have reached an agreement that provides AOL’s audience access to a majority of video from ESPN, including news, highlights and analysis. The agreement deepens AOL’s leading collection of high-quality online video content and significantly boosts its sports-related offering.

The highlights of the deal include:
  • ESPN will provide AOL with ESPN-branded news, highlights and analysis, including video content seen on SportsCenter and other ESPN programs, covering a wide array of sports.
  • AOL will syndicate ESPN video content across both its owned and operated sites (such as AOL.com and The Huffington Post) along with its vast network of partners that includes 1,700 publishers such as Cox, Gannett, and the Boston Globe, as well as mobile phones, tablets and connected TV devices.
  • In conjunction with AOL editors, ESPN’s state-of-the-art production facility will help program content across the AOL network so that consumers reading text articles on both AOL’s family of sites and its partners’ sites will be served relevant ESPN videos providing an optimal consumer experience.
  • The library of ESPN videos will also be housed in a brand-specific channel on the AOL On Network (on.aol.com/espn), AOL’s video platform that launched in 2012 and exclusively features curated, premium video content.
  • Ad sales for this video content will be led by ESPN, and revenue will be shared by both parties along with AOL’s syndication partners.
  • Content distribution began on Oct. 8.

“AOL’s network will provide sports fans a truly engaging online experience with ESPN-produced and ESPN-branded premium video,” said Matt Murphy, ESPN SVP 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.”

AOL is the number two video property on the Internet reaching more than 71 million unique visitors and attracting 992M streams per month through the AOL On Network*.

“ESPN’s leadership in high-quality sports content is second to none and their selection of AOL as a syndication partner at this scale underscores the strength of our network," said Ran Harnevo, SVP of AOL Video. “This is an important moment for ESPN, AOL and our partners, who can now take advantage of compelling sports video content in order to deepen engagement with their readers.”

*comScore Video Metrix – Content Only, August 2013

About ESPN

ESPN, the world’s leading sports entertainment company, features more than 50 assets – seven U.S. television networks, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, and more. ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc. (an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company) and 20 percent by The Hearst Corporation.

About AOL

AOL Inc. is a brand company, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world. The home of a world-class collection of premium brands, AOL creates original content that engages audiences on a local and global scale. We help marketers connect with these audiences through effective and engaging digital advertising solutions.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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