Sporting News Site Gets Makeover to Better 'Feed' Fans

Sporting News, one of the oldest names in sports journalism, has also been one of the most vulnerable. Two years ago, it slashed its print frequency in half, while launching a daily digital edition of the magazine. Today, it’s dwarfed by big rivals like ESPN and Sports Illustrated in print and online.
 
Now, Sporting News is taking a new stab at the Web in a play for rabid sports fans. SportingNews.com is scrapping its game coverage in favor of a news-feed approach that’s focused on seven major sports, including baseball, football and basketball.
 
“[Game coverage] is a commodity, and it’s a commodity major sports portals were bringing video to in a way we knew we couldn’t compete with,” explained Jeff Price, president and publisher of Sporting News.
 
The site, now branded Sporting News Feed, also will publish links to news from outside sports news sources using a tool from aggregation firm PublishThis. It’s a move that risks driving visitors away from the site, but Price is betting that, provided users like the experience, they’ll return to the site often even if they use it as a jumping-off point for other destinations.
 
“Sports fans are very sophisticated and are going to lots of places,” he said. “If you ultimately click away from us because we’ve created the right experience, then we’ve done our job.”
 
The site also is incorporating Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to encourage users to share stories with friends and comment on them. Another feature is the more prominent use of video, provided by sports video syndicator CineSport, which Price hopes will help bring in new advertising.