ESPN To Take Another Slice of Local Media Pie

ESPNChicago_2.23.jpgWSJ.com reports ESPN is planning to launch local sports Websites around the country, starting in Chicago.

ESPNChicago.com, which now sends you to Chicago’s WMVP radio, will launch in April. The WSJ reports the Website will feature a daily Chicago version of “Sportscenter,” and have contributions from ESPN columnists and radio personalities with ties to the city.

ESPN hopes ESPNChicago.com will be the first of a series of new sites that will deepen its online penetration in local markets, following an increasingly popular approach for major content providers. Having already built a national audience of devotees of a particular topic, some publishers are targeting subgroups linked by geography and civic pride.

NewscastStudio opines, “This is an interesting move for ESPN and more bad news for local newspapers and TV stations. Local sports coverage is one of the strongest assets local newspapers and TV stations have to offer and many have done nothing but cut back on it.”