Social network Bebo announced on Tuesday that it has made short-form video content from sports entertainment conglomerate ESPN available to its U.S. visitors. The programming available will include recap show SportsCenter Right Now, as well as clips from Mike and Mike in the Morning, Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, and select news and game footage.
It's a partnership that was first announced nearly a year ago but which has only now taken effect. The ESPN content will be incorporated into "Open Media," Bebo's project to provide more audio and video content to members of its "social-media network" (emphasis on the "media"). Open Media was launched last November with partners including ESPN, as well as Viacom's MTV, the BBC, and CNET Networks parent CBS.
There are plenty of old-media companies involved in this deal. ESPN is owned 80 percent by the Disney's ABC and 20 percent by Hearst. Bebo has been owned by AOL since early this year, after an $850 million acquisition by the Time Warner subsidiary.
But despite its domestic ownership, the youth-oriented Bebo is still most popular in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Adding ESPN content is another move toward capturing a bigger audience in the United States, where MySpace remains the top social network.