Local Sports Media Websites and the Online Gap

May 10, 2010

In markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Dallas, ESPN has started local web sites built on top of their local radio affiliate sites.  In some cases, such as Dallas, Fox Sports has used their local television or radio affiliates to also compete in the local sports media market.  This has seemingly spurred competition in these markets with the already well established newspaper and television news sports sites.  We have yet to see similar competition in the Puget Sound region.

The websites for the likes of 950KJR (Fox Sports Radio), FSNW and 710ESPN have some limited, locally produced content, but the sites generally are full of links to wire service articles or team websites.  Because of this, the best sports websites for local news and stories remains the newspapers and at least one tv station, King5.  This is somewhat disappointing, as the sports radio stations and RSNs are full of audio and video content that could be better utilized than they currently are, in the form of more captive websites.  Given the shakeup in the local newspaper industry recently, and the constantly changing ways of reporting sports news on the local broadcast networks, there appears to be an opportunity for a local sports website to become the go to site for local sports news.   The combination of professional teams in the region along with the many followers of regional collegiate athletic programs would ensure a good sized, and interested, potential audience.

The previously mentioned outlets would have the advantage in building out such a site with the content they already produce or have access to, in addition to their well known brands.  Such a site would include beat writers and columnists, blogging, in depth features and perspectives, videos with updated news and highlights and all types of audio and video clips of games and interviews.  The talent to provide all this could come from the newspaper, radio or tv corners of the industry.  My guess is a compelling site in this market now would become the prime source for breaking news, thought provoking commentary and all other means of local sports happenings.  The pieces are out there, it’s just a matter of rounding it up into one “must visit” location.