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More media outlets seeking ticketing integration

US sports market leader ESPN has become the latest news site to introduce secondary ticketing capabilities, following Fox and CoS into a partnership with Vivid Seats

By Jon Chapple on 21 Feb 2017

Eric Johnson, ESPN

image © Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images

Sports broadcast giant ESPN has joined forces with Vivid Seats, becoming the latest media outlet to sign a potentially lucrative deal with a secondary ticket agency.

Under the agreement, Vivid ticket listings will be integrated into ESPN’s digital platforms, “allowing users to conveniently access and purchase tickets to their favourite sporting events” and ensuring sports fans in the US “have an industry leading ticket-buying experience”, says a statement from Chicago-based Vivid Seats.

ESPN’s digital offerings – which include ESPN.com and a host of apps and regional websites – attracted an average of more than 110m million unique monthly users in 2016, accounting for 29% of total sports news readership.

Vivid’s deal with ESPN is its third such tie-up in six months, following a two-year agreement with FoxSports.com to become its exclusive online ticket provider, signed in September, and its being named exclusive secondary ticket partner for music news website Consequence of Sound in December.

“This deal represents a true collaboration”

Rival site StubHub, meanwhile, is official ticketing partner of sports news site SB Nation and food guide Eater – StubHub ticket widgets are embedded in team and fixture pages on SB Nation, and recommend events near featured restaurants on Eater – as part of a deal with publisher Vox Media.

Comment on its partnership with Vivid, ESPN’s executive vice-president of global advertising revenue and sales operations, Eric Johnson (pictured), says: “Vivid Seats’ dedication and prioritisation to serve sports fans fits well with ESPN’s long-standing mission.

“This deal represents a true collaboration in which both sides have agreed to regularly share key metrics in an effort to collectively learn, make adjustments if necessary and ultimately maximise performance.”


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