Mountain View (CA) – YouTube continues to improve its credibility with national broadcasters. The company said that it signed an agreement with Disney/ABC and ESPN, which will open their own channels on the video community site – and control their own ad inventory.
Slowly but surely, YouTube is moving from a site that is viewed as a location that hosts quite a bit of illegally recorded video content to a destination that is explored by broadcasters as an additional revenue source. YouTube said that Disney Media Networks will launch multiple ad-supported channels on the site, including short-form content from ESPN and the Disney/ABC Television Group.
Channel roll out is scheduled to begin in mid-April for ESPN and early May for the Disney/ABC Television Group channels which will include ABC Entertainment, ABC News, ABC Family and SOAPnet.
In an apparent move to avoid a legal proceeding, YouTube agreed to integrate the ESPN Video Player in the ESPN channel, but said that there will be “additional short-form content available” through YouTube’s player. ESPN will not offer long-form content on YouTube.
According to the agreement, Disney/ABC and ESPN will control their ad inventory and test alternative ad models, such as pre-roll advertising. Initially, the channels will show YouTube’s InVideo overlays as well as traditional display ads.