Google Steer World Cup Searches ESPN

Pact is Internet giant's first for real-time sports highlights and video

ESPN reached a deal with Google, under which the Internet giant will feature the sports programmer’s in-progress and post-match highlights in search results — Google’s first such pact for real-time sports video content.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

FULL COVERAGE: 2014 FIFA World Cup

Under the pact, Google will provide links to ESPN FC, the network’s dedicated soccer website, for highlights immediately after they happen across computers, smartphones and tablets. Additionally, links to live matches on WatchESPN will be featured in search queries that include intent to watch a live World Cup match.

ESPN is live-streaming all 64 matches of the soccer tourney to most U.S. pay-TV subs across multiple devices, and is broadcasting all World Cup games on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2.

SEE ALSO: ESPN Will Live-Stream All 64 Matches of the 2014 World Cup

“As befits the world’s biggest sporting event, ESPN and Google are teaming up for the first time to make ESPN FC video highlights available instantly to millions of fans and to make it easier to find live games on WatchESPN within Google Search,” said John Kosner, EVP of ESPN Digital and Print Media.

During the 2014 tournament — which runs from June 12 to July 13 — Google search results from World Cup-related queries for teams, players will include a timeline of match stats during the game. Within the timeline, key moments will feature companion video that users can view on ESPNFC.com shortly after they happen.

In addition, live matches on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app will be featured within searches for specific matches. Videos will be available to U.S.-based users of Google.com or the Google Search app.

In a previous TV pact, Google worked with Fox and “American Idol” producers FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment to enable live voting from search results for the singing competition’s most recent season this spring.

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