Expect A Local ESPN Boston Website

by Ken Fang on July 23, 2009

In the wake of its announcement that ESPN will launch local websites in Dallas later this year and in New York and Los Angeles sometime next year, it has been learned that ESPN is buying up domain names with the intent of spreading its local sports sites across the country.

Earlier, this year, ESPN Chicago launched to heavy fanfare and in just three short months, already leads the Chicago Tribune’s website for sports visits.

What does this mean for Boston? It means that ESPN is looking at the Hub as well. RadioInsight.com checked and found that ESPN had not just purchased a Boston domain name that had once belonged to 890ESPN, but had bought a series of domain names including ESPN Houston which had belonged to Clear Channel. The list is seen as follows:

ESPNAtlanta.com
ESPNBaltimore.com
ESPNBoston.com
ESPNColoradoSprings.com
ESPNDetroit.com
ESPNFortWorth.com
ESPNFresno.com
ESPNHartford.com
ESPNHonolulu.com
ESPNIndianapolis.com
ESPNLosAngeles.com
ESPNLongBeach.com
ESPNMinneapolis.com
ESPNNashville.com
ESPNNYC.com
ESPNOakland.com
ESPNOrlando.com
ESPNPhilly.com
ESPNPhoenix.com
ESPNPittsburgh.com
ESPNSacramento.com
ESPNSanFrancisco.com
ESPNSanJose.com
ESPNTulsa.com
ESPNVirginiaBeach.com
ESPNWashingtonDC.com

In addition, Radio Insight found that CBS is also getting into the local website game with the following domain site purchases:

CBSSportsAtlanta.com
CBSSportsBaltimore.com
CBSSportsBoston.com
CBSSportsCharlotte.com
CBSSportsChicago.com
CBSSportsDetroit.com
CBSSportsHouston.com
CBSSportsLosAngeles.com
CBSSportsMinneapolis.com
CBSSportsNewYork.com
CBSSportsPhiladelphia.com
CBSSportsSacramento.com
CBSSportsSanFrancisco.com
CBSSportsTampa.com
CBSSportsWashington.com

So with these purchases, both ESPN and CBS see an opportunity to launch a local site and using sports radio, attract visitors and perhaps fill a void where newspapers cannot. In the case of the Globe and Herald, their sports departments are contracting, not expanding.

ESPN’s Chicago site incorporates its local radio station into its website and even integrates the local ABC affiliate as well. Through this multi-faceted marriage, it’s no wonder ESPN has already gained visits in a short amount of time.

While an ESPN Boston site is probably a year away, you can bet the Alleged Worldwide Leader is already planning its launch. With the Globe and Herald on shaky ground and Entercom’s WEEI.com already established and offering unique content, both ESPN and CBS feel that Boston is ripe for the picking. CBS will have had a head start with its launch of its local site in conjunction with WBZ-FM/The Sports Hub, but ESPN has a respected brand name and marketing power.

In the 1970′s and 1980′s, the Globe and Herald had a healthy competition among its sports staffs and readers benefited. It appears the 21st Century competition will be among CBS, Entercom and ESPN joining NESN.com and Comcast SportsNet’s site. May the best website win.

  • http://localonliner.com/2009/07/24/cbs-sports-taking-out-local-domains-too/ Local Onliner » CBS Sports Taking Out Local Domains (Too)

    [...] sports websites, may soon be contending with local CBS Sports sites as well. As reported by the Fang’s Bites blog, , ESPN has registered at least 26 ESPN(Cityname).com sites, but CBS Sports is also in on the [...]

  • steve (aka invitedmedia)

    when espn first announced their initial chicago launch many months ago, i spent part of a sunday afternoon checking out registrations for a wide range of cities. espn did a great job of covering their bases PRIOR to announcing chicago, and you have to commend them for that.

    nbc had to go to wipo to get a number of their “city” names when they decided to go local.

    however, i believe the list of espncitydotcom’s is far larger than the one you published although i can’t give you an example off the top of my head. let’s just say that espn knew what they were doing.

    it does make the whole thing rather intuitive, doesn’t it? it takes search basically out of the formula which ought to scare the goog out of google.

    the reason i’m writing is i was totally unaware that cbssports has begun their journey local too. i wanted to thank you for that info.

    it never ceases to amaze me how the web works– moments ago i was reading mike malone’s brand new say on the espn matter @ broadcastingcable and was curious if espn had done anything yet with espndetroit (like even a mere landing screen). since my browser defaults to google when no property is found, a link to your blog appeared that looked only days old.

    again, thanks for the cbssports info.

    steve

  • http://fangsbites.bostonsportsmedia.com/2009/08/breaking-news-espnboston-com-launches-914-steals-mike-reiss-from-globe/ BREAKING NEWS: ESPNBoston.com Launches 9/14, Steals Mike Reiss From Globe

    [...] of ice cream sundaes, ESPN hands out a press release that a local site for Boston. Back in July, I had speculated it was coming, but not for another year after the other local sites had [...]

  • http://stateofthefourthestate.com/2010/03/22/gothamist-telcomm-96/ Gothamist’s Potential Purchase…And Why The TelComm Act of ‘96 Matters « State of the Fourth Estate

    [...] gut example here could be ESPN.com’s local city-by-city efforts, stealing bloggers and/or talent from local newspapers, but that’s not perfect because [...]

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