It's officialDisney (NYSE: DIS) Media Networks and YouTube have announced the short-form deal we first reported last night. The deal covers the launch of multiple ad-supported U.S.-only channels featuring content from ESPN and the Disney/ABC Television Group. Previews are up now (ESPN, ABC). Some details:
We were told emphatically that Disney would control the ad inventory. The way it's put in the release is: "Disney Media Networks will have the option to sell their own advertising inventory within the Disney/ABC and ESPN channels." The channels "will be supported at launch by advertising like YouTube's InVideo overlays, and traditional display ads" but ESPN and ABC will be able to "test pre-roll advertising on short-form content."
The ESPN video player, which share DNA with the ABC player, will be integrated into the ESPN channel and "will anchor a wide variety of exciting sports content and highlights on YouTube." But some ESPN content will be available through YouTube's player. Memo to the cable operators and others who pay substantial license fees for ESPN networks: "ESPN content that is available on the ESPN channel and player will not contain long-form content from its linear networks."
More to come.
By Staci D. Kramer