ESPN to Expand Network of Local Sports Sites
Sites for Dallas, New York and Los Angeles to Join Successful ESPNChicago.com
ESPN announced today that it will roll out three more city-specific sports sites in the months ahead, with Dallas, Los Angeles and New York joining the successful ESPNChicago.com. ESPNDallas.com is slated to launch this Fall, followed by ESPNNewYork.com and ESPNLosAngeles.com in the first half of 2010. Like ESPNChicago.com, each site will feature an integrated home for ESPN’s news and information, online video and digital audio powered by the flagship ESPN Radio station in each market, giving local fans a destination for their sports on-air, online, on-site and on mobile devices.
“Our commitment to expand ESPN’s network of localized sites is a testament to our dedication to serve sports fans and their passions,” said Marc Horine, vice president digital partnerships and sales development, ESPN Digital Media. “We understand that local sports interests ignite strong passions, and Dallas, New York and Los Angeles have some of the most storied franchises and fan bases in history. We’re excited by the early success we’ve had with ESPNChicago.com and the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Like ESPNChicago.com, each site will have its own short-form SportsCenter, hosted by SC anchors and providing an original 3-6 minute roundup of the city’s sports news, teams and figures each day. Additionally, the sites will feature:
- Online radio and podcasts from local ESPN Radio flagship stations (ESPN 710 AM in LA, ESPN 1050 AM in NY, and ESPN 103.3 FM in Dallas);
- Online video, including highlights, news, analysis and original content from ESPN programs including Baseball Tonight, NFL Live, College Football Live and more;
- Original reporting, blogs and commentary from a stable of local voices, including those at the local ESPN Radio station, and award-winning journalists and writers from other ESPN media;
- Breaking sports news and information;
- Real-time scores, GameCasts and video highlights;
- Clubhouse pages from professional and college leagues;
- Community tools such as Fan Profiles, SportsNation, ESPN Conversations pages and Passport, ESPN.com’s digital fan scrapbook;
- Each site will also extend to mobile devices;
- The same innovative local and national advertising opportunities that both ESPNChicago.com and ESPN.com offer.
ESPN will continue to expand the network to more cities in the future, though no specific plans are in place. Like with ESPNChicago.com, ESPN’s Digital Media, Radio and Television Production divisions will collaborate to build and support the new sites.
The announcement comes following growth and momentum for ESPN’s first city-centric site, ESPNChicago.com. In less than three months, ESPNChicago.com has established itself as the top sports site for Chicago fans, and among the most popular news and information destinations for Chicago residents. In June, ESPNChicago.com logged 1.4 million total minutes of time spent on the site from nearly 600,000 unique visitors, up 112 percent and 57 percent respectively compared to May, according to comScore. The site also recently struck a content syndication agreement with The Huffington Post Chicago in which ESPNChicago.com sports news and content complements HuffPost Chicago’s unique blend of news, opinion, politics, local news, food and style. In exchange, The Huffington Post Chicago supplements ESPNChicago.com’s local content which includes ESPN Radio 1000, and Chicago news, traffic and weather from ABC-owned TV station WLS. The four local ESPN.com sites complement the growing network of ESPNRadio.com affiliate sites, now totaling 20, including Washington D.C., Denver, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Cleveland and more.