Will New ESPN YouTube Partnership Signal New Era?

Announced just this morning, ESPN.com and YouTube have announced a new partnership that will allow ESPN to integrate it’s own video player onto the YouTube site starting July 15.

Taken from AdAge.com’s coverage of the events:

“We’re programming dayparts as if ESPN.com was a new network,” Sean Bratches, ESPN’s exec VP-sales and marketing, told the crowd. “We want to make ESPN and our partners’ brands available to fans in every conceivable way.”

While the relationship is obviously for advertising purposes (i.e. YouTube charges ESPN, ESPN charges advertisers), Bratches touches on why every company should be doing internet video: syndication.

Sure, it’s great if you do video.  However, if you aren’t reaching eyeballs with the video, optimizing it and marketing it where people are already watching videos, you’re selling the opportunity short.

On a personal level, the relationship makes a whole lot of sense.  When I go to ESPN.com, I don’t go to watch videos, and I know I am not alone in that I find ESPN.com’s autoplay videos annoying.  However, when I do want to see sports highlights, I find myself searching through YouTube’s maze of unauthorized videos that are up for minutes or hours and unceremoniously pulled down.

At this time, the official YouTube blog has nothing reporting the partnership, however we will post it when it becomes official.

ESPN Integrates Video Player on YouTube (AdAge)

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