ESPN and Twitter have announced a major deal, in which the social media giant will post sports-related highlight videos on their site, moments after the live action unfolds. The deal should generate advertising revenue for both parties.
Highlights will range from NCAA football to qualifying matches for soccer’s World Cup 2014 to the X Games.
Users can view highlights via Twitter’s mobile applications and website, and ESPN will sell ads running inside the video clips, sharing all revenue with Twitter.
ESPN and Twitter first teamed on video highlight trials late last year, recruiting Ford Motor Company to sponsor game-changing moments from the network’s college football broadcasts. ESPN said the highlights were viewed more than 7 million times.
Twitter executives are in talks with other broadcasters, including CBS and NBC Universal, to explore additional opportunities for collaborating on digital video efforts distributed across the Twitter platform, with each side selling ads to accompany the clips.
Twitter has pitched to networks that videos will drive viewership by convincing users to turn on the television for the remainder of the broadcast–programmers also can reward viewers who’ve already tuned in by offering exclusive Twitter clips.
Twitter passed the 200 million monthly active user milestone in late 2012. The majority of these users visit the site via their mobile devices.
“We want to be able to push ESPN’s content wherever sports fans are,” said Eric Johnson, ESPN’s executive vice president of multimedia sales. “Twitter is a great opportunity for us to do that.”
Twitter is on pace to generate advertising revenues in the range of $580 million in 2013.
“There is certainly a lot of interest from broadcasters,” said Glenn Brown, Twitter’s head of promoted content and sponsorships. “Video is very popular on the Web; it’s what our TV partners are good at doing, and it’s an area that ad partners are most interested in.”