YouTube, Fox Sports Team Up for Online Video Ad Sales

Burger King on Board to Sponsor Fantasy Football Videos

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YouTube and Fox Sports have agreed to jointly sell ads on the sports network's YouTube channel, the companiessaid, signing up Burger King as the initial sponsor.

As part of the program, which began earlier this month to coincide with the start of the NFL season, Burger King branding and ads appear on the fantasy football-themed section "Inside Fantasy." The fast-food chain is running preroll ads against videos there along with banners promoting its Buffalo Chicken Strips. Its branding is also featured within the videos -- on a news desk, for example, bearing the Burger King logo.

Fox Sports channel on YouTube
Fox Sports channel on YouTube

YouTube and Fox Sports had pitched the program to advertisers during the video site's Brandcast event in May as part of the Digital Content NewFronts, online video's equivalent to TV's upfront presentations.

Fox Sports' YouTube channel is small compared with some others. It has just over 69,000 subscribers, compared with more than 1.2 million people subscribers for ESPN's YouTube channel. But it still offers appreciable reach: The channel notched more than 22 million video views in July and August.

Burger King made an upfront spending commitment in exchange for a guaranteed number of video views and ad impressions, said Fox Sports Digital Senior VP-Sales Marla Newman. She declined to discuss specific terms such as the amount of money Burger King has promised to spend or the number of video views and ad impressions guaranteed to the brand.

Tim Katz, YouTube's manager of sports content partnerships, declined to disclose how the ad revenue is split between YouTube and Fox Sports. YouTube usually takes a 45% cut of ad revenue from premium content partners, but has worked out smaller percentages with some, according to sources.

Fox Sports, which recently launched its would-be ESPN rival Fox Sports 1, is not currently bundling TV spots with these YouTube deals, but Ms. Newman said that is "definitely something we're exploring."

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