SendtoNews banking on summer return of pro sports for record video numbers

B.C. company known for showcasing sports highlights for major publications expects ‘record’ summer viewership

Victoria's SendtoNews took to creating custom sports videos for publications even as the pandemic put leagues on hiatus | Photo: submitted

While Matthew Watson doesn’t expect the summer heat to give way to crisp autumn breezes, the CEO of SendtoNews Video Inc. has reason to believe August may feel a little like October this year.

The Victoria-based company is best known for its video distribution platform for sports highlights that are showcased within online stories for publications such as The Los Angeles Times or The Chicago Tribune.

This month SendtoNews touted more than 47 million unique viewers responsible for more than 1 billion video views in May, according to Comscore rankings.

With MLS action already underway and with just weeks to go before the expected return of the NHL, NBA and MLB, Watson said the crowded schedule makes for a “unique” situation for the SendtoNews platform.

“Even though it’s a weird time of year and internet usage is lower … during the summer months, I think we’re going to see records for viewership when those sports come back,” he said.

“In the month of October we’ve always had a crowded sports schedule but every sport’s going to be almost every day for August, and September and October now, which is going to be an interesting scenario.”

Last August SendtoNews expanded beyond sports and into finance, health, news, lifestyle and weather videos.

It also launched a video player for 200 publishers in early March for dedicated COVID-19 coverage, which Watson said garnered 15 million views per day in the first week.

With North American pro sports leagues on hiatus from the outset of the pandemic, the company began featuring sports highlights from past glories such the top moments from the New York Yankees’ 2019 season.

“Although we’ve expanded beyond sports, our highest-valued advertisers have been in sports,” Watson said.

“We had a lot of campaigns paused, so those are all coming back.”

He added that pent-up demand from audiences will be a major boost for the video platform.

“It’s a happy distraction during these times.”