CSN v. ESPN

18 11 2009

In response to ESPN’s campaign to launch local sports sites in cities across the country, Comcast is now intensifying its own regional sports coverage.

Unlike ESPN’s web sites, which include ESPNChicago, Boston, and Dallas, Comcast SportsNet’s expanded coverage will not be limited to the Internet.  In addition to reviving its web site, CSNNE.com, the sports media group has also created a live sports news show, SportsNet Central.  The 30-minute Sports Center-esque program will air on their regional sports networks three times a week and will offer in-depth sports analysis, according to a company press release.

The site will feature content from SportsNet network shows, exclusive online video of player and coach interviews, breaking news and analysis, blogs, and game-day email updates, Comcast said.   While sites for Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, and San Francisco are in the works, Boston is already live, due to the strength of the entire New England market.

“Deep New England roots and strong ties to the local sports community enable  to provide original sports coverage around the clock, more local video than any other entity, and exclusive fan experiences with local teams and their players,” said Grilly in a statement.

http://tinyurl.com/yz3zg5f

Comcast SportsNet to Intensify Local Coverage (http://tinyurl.com/yz3zg5f)

Unlike ESPN, which mostly transferred existing resources to the new sites, CSN is pouring in money for optimal local coverage.  It has already built a new newsroom and studio, created 40 jobs in production and reporting, hired a number of new on-air commentators — and that’s just for Boston.

CSN stands to lose far more than ESPN.  ESPN has established itself as the destination for online sports information, and it is toting that brand as it moves in to each individual city.  But what Comcast does have is established regional networks, and if it can successfully channel its viewers to its web sites, it may be the only competition to the worldwide leader in sports.

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