ESPN and Twitter have taken forward their tie-up to show videos on the social network and have announced a major expansion to their fledgling association. The leading sports network will put up videos of highlights and important moments on Twitter, as the social network looks to boost its advertising revenue.
Wall Street Journal reports that ESPN’s plan involves posting video highlights of major events in 2013 including from football matches leading up to next year’s FIFA World Cup, US college American Football season and the X Games, a series of extreme sports events. Users can view these clips on their Twitter timeline, immediately after they are broadcast on TV.
The video highlights shown earlier by ESPN on Twitter
Twitter is also reportedly in talks with major networks about collaborating on the online video front. Videos will run inline on Twitter, with each side selling ads to accompany the videos, according to people familiar with the discussions. ESPN is expected to show off the new Twitter partnership this week and the deal could herald the arrival of TV content on Twitter, something that could be beneficial to both parties.
Twitter provides new ways to reach out to consumers and is also a way to make money beyond the conventional TV advertising space. Analysts say it will increase consumer engagement and even boost viewership thanks to the easy access to content. “We want to be able to push ESPN's content wherever sports fans are. Twitter is a great opportunity for us to do that,” said Eric Johnson, ESPN's Executive VP, Multimedia Sales.
Research firm Nielsen’s data reveals that nearly 40 percent of smartphone users visit social networks while watching television. And now Twitter and TV networks will be slugging it out for a share of the nearly-$350 billion TV advertising industry.