Thought Equity Motion Inks Licensing Agreement With USTA

Sports Video Group- Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - The history of the US Open tennis tournament has a new home: in the cloud.

Thought Equity Motion (TEM), a provider of cloud-based video-platform and footage-licensing services, has signed a multi-year, exclusive agreement with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to use the company’s advanced video platform and sales-distribution network to license US Open tournament footage dating back to the 1960s.

“I think it fits in well with our sports-assets base,” says Sal Siino, chief revenue officer at TEM, whose other sports clients include the NCAA, the Big Ten, and Raycom Sports. “Anytime you can land one of the preeminent sports collections and represent it, it just gives you one more piece to go into the production world with.”

The US Open library – exclusively a B2B portal at its inception – will feature video of legendary tennis matches from the tournament, in addition to a wealth of other archival footage from the history of the event.

According the Siino, the TEM Website currently has about 400 video clips already up — most from this year’s tournament — but that total will increase exponentially leading up to next summer’s Open.

TEM’s video platform enables the USTA to provide producers and businesses access to digitized US Open content with searchable metadata.

The USTA has managed its own digital archive in the past, but this marks the first time that the organization has third-partied its licensing rights. TEM’s video platform will enhance that digitized footage with searchable metadata, making it easier for ad agencies, producers, or documentarians to obtain their desired clips.

“I think we’re maybe in better shape [with USTA] than with some folks we deal with, where things may still be on digibeta or they’re not even digitized at all,” says Dan Weiner, EVP of marketing and products, TEM. “They were beyond that first step, but that next level that we do with folks is getting it where it has the rich metadata at a player level and at a play-by-play level, combined with the fact that it’s in a cloud-based tool, where, from any Web browser, folks within the USTA, researchers, everyone has more rapid access to it.”

Both Siino and Weiner acknowledge that the archive could one day be made available to fans, perhaps at USOpen.org, but those talks still need to be finalized with the USTA.

Says Siino, “Those types of conversations usually happen as part of an evolution.”

For more on Thought Equity Motion’s US Open footage offering, visit www.thoughtequity.com/usta.

Author: Brandon Costa