SendtoNews Inks NFL Distribution Deal

Miami Dolphins, NFL | BCBusiness
SendtoNews is now the exclusive distributor of NFL video highlights to Canadian news outlets.

The Victoria-based digital news agency signs deal to distribute video highlights from the NFL

SendtoNews has acquired exclusive Canadian rights to distribute NFL video highlights through its News Partnership Network that includes most major Canadian daily newspapers and hundreds of local and regional news outlets.
The Victoria-based digital sports news agency began offering online NFL highlights to the Canadian market in time for the league’s season kick-off between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos on Sept. 5.
“We’re already exceeding our projections in terms of viewership. We’re getting one million views per month and we’re expecting to grow that number to between five and 10 million,” SendtoNews CEO Greg Bobolo told BCBusiness over the phone between meetings in New York City. “This is premium space for advertisers.”
The deal was a year in the making. Discussions first started when Bobolo met with NFL representatives at the World Sports Content Media Convention in Monaco last October to discuss how to improve the league’s online video presence in Canada. Bobolo would not reveal how much SendtoNews paid for the multi-year agreement. However, as an indication of the dollars at stake, David Davies, VP Corporate Communications for SendtoNews, points to a four-year, $1-billion deal signed last June giving Verizon rights to stream all CBS and Fox in-market NFL games to mobile phones.
“Ours is nowhere near the Verizon deal. What we are building is a new market and the NFL sees that,” Davies says.
According to the NFL is the most profitable sports league in the world ahead of runner-up, English Premier League football. More than 108 million people tuned for this year’s opening weekend games, between Sept. 5 and Sept. 9, making it the most-viewed opening weekend ever. That’s why SendtoNews considers the NFL agreement a coup. The company now owns rights to video highlights, player interviews and other fan interest content for more than 75 sports leagues and organizations around the world including Wimbledon, Tour de France, FIS Alpine Skiing, Formula 1 and NASCAR, for which it acquired global distribution rights for video race highlights last February.
Global sports advertising is worth an estimated $114 billion, and SendtoNews is one of a handful of firms carving out new territory in the video highlight distribution market. SendtoNews’ model involves acquiring exclusive rights, building a distribution network then monetizing the content with advertising that usually comes in the form of pre-roll spots that appear before the video highlight.
Newspaper publishers that belong to the network receive the content for free in exchange for giving the video premium placement on their sport pages. Ad revenues are then shared through a pre-negotiated formula between the news partner, SendtoNews and the sports league or organization.
SendtoNews is in the early days of monetizing the NFL product, but so far Guinness, Rogers Communications and Source For Sports have all made purchase orders for ads paired with the NFL video content.
“We are beyond start-up with the deals we have landed in the past year. 2014 will be a breakout year for us with regards to revenues,” Davies says.