Online Rivalry Begins Between Yahoo! And ESPN

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One of the most well-known and respected Business magazine, Fast Company took a look into some of the work that Yahoo! has done to re-brand itself in the Sports World. The whole thing is a pretty good read but the best part is the quotes from those involved.....

The contrasts between Yahoo Sports and give it all the trappings of a classic rivalry. ESPN has only taken baby steps into the blogosphere and lags in fantasy sports, but overall has an enormous built-in advantage: It televises the games themselves, both on its nine U.S. TV networks and online. "We don't see ourselves as simply a Web site, but as a network that goes across digital," says ESPN's John Kosner, senior VP and GM of digital media. "I don't think there's much question among sports fans who offers the best content."

Yahoo Sports may never rival ESPN in terms of scope. But it doesn't have to as long as it feeds the larger Yahoo effort to reinvent itself. Pitaro says he speaks to Jerry Yang regularly, and the CEO believes that sports is a bellwether of what's possible if major categories such as news, finance, travel, and music are also category leaders. More people starting their day at Yahoo means more ads--and higher rates.

Yahoo Sports' team is taking it one game at a time. But sometimes they can't help but think big. "The vibe here is not timid," Silver says. "We're here to bust down the door and smack some people around."
Booyah! What's up now ESPN??? Michael Silver's coming for your ass!!! In all seriousness I don't really read either publication, but I think both are doing a great job of increasing their viewers. By the time ESPN realizes how to market their online game offerings though it could be a blowout.

All things considered it's pretty amazing the reversal of fortune that Yahoo! has achieved, and like I always say....more sources are better than just one.

Yahoo's Rally Cry (Fast Company)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 5:38 PM


This reminds me of Fox Sports Net when they first formed 10 or 11 years ago, claiming they had 20 times the content of ESPN.
Unfortunately, that was counting local programming and not taking into effect national coverage; not every game on every FSN fiefdom is available to everyone, like ESPN's programming was/is. Yahoo! would be more equipped to rival ESPN in total scope if they had a fledgling cable network (Versus) to offer 24 hour news and content.

Anonymous said...
Jan 24, 2008, 6:41:00 PM  

From what I can tell, Yahoo! Sports doesn't report false stories. That makes them my sports page.

Anonymous said...
Jan 24, 2008, 7:41:00 PM  

Wait a second, nine tv networks? I count ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN "Classic", ESPNEWS, and maybe ABC. Those are six channels, unless the author is a douche and is counting the HD channels also.

Anonymous said...
Jan 24, 2008, 8:53:00 PM  

ESPN Deportes, ESPN360, and ESPN lists "ESPN Mobile TV" as a channel on its web site. Yeah I know, it's a stretch. Count ESPN's international versions if you don't like that.

Morgan Wick said...
Jan 24, 2008, 10:27:00 PM  

Completely off-topic, but AA, did you ever give any consideration to being in the next 'Pros Vs. Joes' (a la Will Leitch of Deadspin)?

Rick James Bible Owner said...
Jan 24, 2008, 11:38:00 PM  

Yahoo is the more journalistic of the two. They do not claim exclusives, unless they really are. They also do not have the pressure of creating content that will promote "platforms" across the brands. This is HUGE.

Yahoo is also tearing ESPN's ass on the Reggis Bush story. Do not doubt that this is partly due to ESPN having an ownership position in the Heisman Trust specifically and in CFB generally (they do, of course, own several bowl games).

Ed said...
Jan 25, 2008, 1:16:00 AM  

I support Yahoo!'s recent hiring decisions.

MJD said...
Jan 25, 2008, 10:10:00 AM  

Yahoo didn't bury the Reggie Bush story. That's enough for me.

J.J. said...
Jan 25, 2008, 11:00:00 AM  

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