CineSport Broadens Its Reach With USA Today Partnership

CineSport continued to grow its already prominent presence in the online-sports-video space with a newly inked deal to partner with the USA Today Sports Media Group.

CineSport’s VaMP video platform is at the center of the content and technology agreement, which will allow USA Today to embed video interviews with reporters and columnists and other original programming directly into the body of or at the head of an online article.

“We agree that highlights are a part of the business,” says CineSport’s CEO Gregg Winik, “but the original programming and reporter packages that we do with the columnists is what [differentiates] the content that these sites will have versus their competitors, which mainly just have national content.”

As part of the partnership agreement, CineSport and USA Today Sports will co-produce original programming for distribution through the VaMP platform, which can seamlessly deliver content to USA Today Sports’ Website and any of the participating local publications. CineSport’s staff will work with the columnists and reporters at the nearly 200 Gannett-owned publications to create interviews relevant to local beats.

“At the end of the day, the only way you’re going to get seen is when you’re right there in the article,” says Winik. “The right-rail video player is not something that’s going to create engagement, metrics, and views. Technology makes it easy, whether it be the editor or the actual reporter to embed the video. That made the difference with Gannett.”

The deal is also a huge distribution win for CineSport, nearly doubling the company’s already impressive reach; the site is consistently ranked in the top three for sports by comScore Video Metrix. USA Today boasts 26.3 million unique views per month, and that’s not counting the many other local sites that fall under the USA Today Sports Media Group banner.

CineSport also announced today that it will launch its own Website (www.CineSport.com) to serve as a portal for the company’s national- and local-sports original content. CineSport produces more than 1,200 pieces of original content per month featuring top sports reporters. Often embedded in reporters’ articles, these custom videos help CineSport publishers drive record traffic and engagement. Last month, CineSport generated 7 million unique viewers across its network (comScore Video Metrix, September 2013). CineSport.com is another way for users to access this content and navigate to and from the publishers across all devices.

The VaMP platform was developed in 2012 to specifically meet the needs of news and information sites and has seen wide adoption across CineSport’s network of major publishers, which include the Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and more than 100 other major daily news brands. VaMP provides a way for editors to publish video contextually in the body of articles and to maximize engagement and monetization.

“CineSport’s video-production and programming capabilities makes this the ideal partnership for us,” said Tom Beusse, president of USA Today Sports Media Group. “In addition, CineSport’s VaMP technology is a cutting-edge platform for multi-site publishers and provides all of the key components necessary to deliver video to audiences across platforms and devices.”

Winik sees the deal as a major boost to CineSport’s overall mission: “This further validates a process we started a couple years ago.”