The deal with Disney‘s (DIS) popular ESPN cable network will put its sports programming on AOL’s video network. Ads included in online videos generate higher rates than banner or display ads. ESPN will sell brief video ads that will air at the beginning of its video clips. The two companies will split revenue from the ad sales, Bloomberg notes.
An AOL executive said that marketers were looking for quality online video programming to place ads in. AOL’s online video network already includes content from 1,700 publishers, including Time Warner‘s (TWX) Sports Illustrated and News Corp.’s The Wall Street Journal.
AOL’s video network attracted 71.2 million viewers in August, behind only Google‘s (GOOG). The company derives two-thirds of its total sales from ads.
Earlier this year, AOL shut down a number of websites in its Patch operation, cutting 500 jobs.
Shares of AOL rose more than 1% in Thursday morning trading, while Disney shares gained 2%.