Tuesday, July 21, 2009

ESPN Chicago - Follow Up

Back in April, I posted an entry about ESPN's newest foray into sports media, a regionally-focused portal based here in Chicago.

Well...it took five months, but the mainstream media finally caught on to the story. The NY Times published an article on the site

Here's what I wrote in April, shortly after the site's launch...

I would guess, based purely on my own web surfing habits, that ESPN can drive a ton of traffic to this new portal relative to the incumbent players. While I personally read articles from my hometown newspaper on their web site every day...I never go to Comcast's site. With that said, I'll go to ESPN.com's main page at least a dozen times a day. Something tells me I'd click through pretty often if they had a Philadelphia sports portal.

I would assume the new ESPN site will get huge Chicago traffic, and demonstrate that national media players who run successful internet enterprises can pick up niche audiences with regionalized perspectives. Part of this is based on my experience watching regional providers stink, or miss plenty of opportunities to build bigger internet audiences.

So how is it actually playing out? From the NY Times article...

In less than three months, ESPN Chicago has become the city’s top sports site, attracting about 590,000 unique visitors in June, according to data from comScore, an Internet measurement company. Second place went to The Tribune’s online sports section with 455,000 unique visitors.

ESPN plans to announce an expansion of this initiative into New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas.

Just remember where you should've read about it first

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