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ESPN Joins Magna Effort to Automate Buying

ESPN is joining the Magna Consortium, a group looking to test technology to increase the efficiency and automation in media transactions.

"Given the dynamic nature of live sports programming, these new models have the potential to increase our efficiency and campaign effectiveness across all platforms," Eric Johnson, executive VP of multimedia sales at ESPN, said in a statement. "Ultimately this will allow our teams to spend less time on nominal tasks and more time on creativity and activation, thereby further enhancing our premium sales proposition and client service."

Other members of the consortium, announced by Magna, a part of Interpublic Group's Mediabrands unit, are A+E Networks, Cablevision, Tribune Co., AOL, and Clear Channel Media.

"Magna and IPG Mediabrands are committed to automation and to expanding the pipeline of available inventory that can be planned and purchased through automated means," said Tim Spengler, Magna's Worldwide CEO. "As the industry's premier source for premium sports content, ESPN's commitment is crucial to the advancement of our automation agenda, and we are thrilled that they have joined our cause."

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.