Update: Sports Illustrated Ramps Up Web Video Presence

Time Inc.‘s Sports Illustrated is joining the ranks of news outlets that are supplementing written online content with Web video, the company announced today.

The new program, inspired by the huge popularity of an online video about SI’s swimsuit edition, will include daily video reports. It also marks the creation of “The SI Inside Report,” anchored by sports reporter Maggie Gray. The “Inside Report” will air on the site multiple times a day.

SI.com Managing Editor Paul Fichtenbaum heads up the video project. Joining him is Ian Orefice, formerly of CNN/Money.com, who will serve as executive producer for online video.

Earlier today, an AdAge report had detailed the initiative.

SI is hiring six journalists to support its effort to break into online video, and will also air highlights from sports games and video from Dan Patrick’s radio show.

Sports Illustrated‘s commitment to Web video fits in with a growing trend among Web news outlets, says the AdAge story, which cites recent initiatives by The Wall Street Journal and CNNMoney.com. All of the sites feature anchored broadcasts by personalities who work primarily on Web video. The Wall Street Journal even airs breaking news and special reports as part of its Web video program.

AdAge attributes this trend to the lucrative nature of Web video and to high reader demand for video made by a dedicated staff of journalists:

[P]ublishers are increasingly deciding that the competition is no reason to sit out. It’s more like the opposite — consumers want it; advertisers will often pay more for it. And publishers are hoping these anchored shows will help build stronger viewing habits than a variety of dissimilar videos on their own.

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