It’s finally opening day for Time Inc.’s new digital video network, 120 Sports. At 6 o’clock tonight, 120 Sports will begin streaming live video content, all of which will be broken down into two-minute bites—hence the 120 moniker. The 120 Sports app goes live on Apple’s app store today and will be available on Google Play beginning July 14.
Time Inc. previewed its new venture on Monday evening at the offices of MLB Advanced Media, which, apart from being a live-streaming pioneer in its own right, is also one of 120 Sports’ league partners. Expectations were high going into the launch. “We think this is going to change the way that people interact with sports content,” said Time Inc. evp Todd Larsen. Added 120 Sports president and Silver Chalice co-founder Jason Coyle, “We want to be ubiquitous by this time next year.”
120 Sports’ other league partners include the NBA, NHL, NASCAR, PGA, and Campus Insiders, which works with top college athletic conferences. (The NFL, notably, is missing from the list.) Digital sports media company Silver Chalice will oversee 120 Sports’ production and business operations from its Chicago office, which now houses approximately 130 employees dedicated to the network.
With its integration of data, social and video, Coyle touted the platform as both a companion for traditional TV viewing and as a TV replacement for cord-cutters. The platform’s 120-second segments, hosted by rotating teams of anchors covering a wide range of sports news, are specifically tailored to an audience looking for quick-hit, socially-driven, sharable content. Below the video player, viewers will find a constantly rotating collection of data cards integrating everything from live tweets and polls to Sports Illustrated stories and ads, all of which can be pulled up without ever leaving the video. Driving the millennial-friendly message home, there’s a strict no-suits policy for the anchors, all of whom appear constantly attached to an iPad or smartphone.
At launch, sponsors include Nissan, Geico, Transamerica and Verizon. Sponsored content will appear as tiles on the network’s home screen as well as within the data cards running below video. 120 also plans to offer advertisers the opportunity to sponsor certain recurring segments, said Coyle. Time Inc. and Silver Chalice are the network’s co-exclusive sales agents.
It’s already been a big summer for Time Inc.’s sports group. Just yesterday, Sports Illustrated unveiled its full redesign of SI.com, which will now also prominently feature video content from 120 Sports both within stories and as a standalone channel on the website, and will roll out its new fantasy gaming app within the next week.