ESPN Pitches Video To AOL

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ESPN will make sports highlights and other short-form online video content accessible through AOL, marking the first time the programmer has syndicated video content through an Internet portal.

AOL on Monday launched the ESPN channel page, which is accessible from the menu bar on AOL Video pages. The Time Warner-owned portal also will make ESPN video available at AOL Sports.

Matt Murphy, ESPN senior vice president of digital video distribution, said in a statement the AOL deal will give the sports programmer “a larger online video audience than ever before,” adding that “we hope fans will be seeing more syndicated video from ESPN.com in the future.”

AOL and ESPN are both among the top 10 destinations for online video, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore.

In January, AOL served 118.0 million video views to 21.9 million unique visitors in January, while ESPN sites served 81.4 million video views to 8.8 million unique visitors.

Still, both are dwarfed by Google and YouTube: all Google video sites served 3.4 billion views in January, accounting for about one out of every three clips, comScore estimated.

Content available through ESPN’s embedded video player on AOL includes SportsCenter Right Now, a twice-daily recap of top stories; clips from ESPN programs such as Mike and Mike in the Morning, Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn; and breaking news and game clips. The player will also provide links to ESPN.com content related to the video topics.

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