ESPN Would Like You To Work To See Their Headlines

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's no secret that ESPN's change of their website this past January, was to create more space for advertising. After initially not enjoying the new look, it started to grow on me, but that was until today. The "Leader" has decided to move the headlines on the right to a spot below the fold, so they can add EVEN MORE advertising to the front page, and they're even admitting to it. Via Sports Business Daily.... has altered its site design unveiled in January, shifting the list of headlines below the rotation of top stories and video links, and significantly expanding the amount of ad space available immediately to the right of those top stories. That ad position, one of the most popular slots in all of digital sports media, was initially used for a set of spots from Apple. On many standard computer monitors and laptops, the new design will require some downward scrolling to access the additional headlines.

ESPN execs said the new design, arriving organically since the January relaunch, marked an attempt at flexibility with regard to both content and advertising. "We are constantly working with our advertisers to be innovative while maintaining an optimal user experience. Today's ad is one example of a new execution we tried," said ESPN PR Manager Paul Melvin. "We'll evaluate its impact and effectiveness and use those learnings as we move forward."

Now I understand the need for advertising on the site, but you have to get the headlines back above the fold. There is plenty of room for both, especially when the two ads at the top are for the exact same company. I expect they'll be getting a pretty negative response to this move.

Posted by Awful Announcing at 4:31 PM


I saw this when I got into work this morning and was wondering if it was one of those ad spots that is there the 1st time and then goes away. So I went back a few hours later and it was still there. I finally took the time to search for the headlines and after a good 2-3 minutes found them, and they look like crap.

I hope this isn't something that stays in place, because it will definitely be the straw that breaks the camel's back when it comes to me visiting

Noce said...
Apr 28, 2009, 4:41:00 PM, less news, more ponies.

FightingPike said...
Apr 28, 2009, 4:41:00 PM  

At least we have ESPN continues to reign as the Extreme Self Promotion Network. Truly the WWL.

Mike said...
Apr 28, 2009, 5:26:00 PM  

My first reaction was actually, "Oooh..more headlines". Am I the only one who felt this way?

Steven said...
Apr 28, 2009, 5:42:00 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Apr 28, 2009, 5:46:00 PM  

I did notice there were more headlines, but only after having to scan for their location. Definitely not a good move, in a literal and figurative sense. I hope it is changed back to where it has been for many years.

mtjaws said...
Apr 28, 2009, 5:48:00 PM  

Horrible aesthetic choice, but whatever. I've got all and video on ESPN blocked (how anyone looks at the site without doing that is beyond me) so until I saw this I figured something was just fucked up, I just see a blank gray rectangle.

Mike Georger said...
Apr 28, 2009, 6:02:00 PM  

Well, at least this way you have to scroll down, instead of to the right, to read the headlines. It's just too annoying being able to read the first third of the headline, and then having to wait thirty seconds for the site to finish loading whatever ridiculous flash thingamajiggers to let you scroll to read the rest.

Maynard said...
Apr 28, 2009, 7:49:00 PM  

Ok, I assume nobody here are technical noobs, so let me put my help desk skills (yes, I have no money)to work:

1 - Use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. IE is garbage.

2 - Install the Ad block plus add-on application to block ALL FLASH ADS on all websites.

It will even make your porn viewing more enjoyable!

If this helps, fuck you very much. If you already know this or don't care, well, fuck you anyway.

Have a nice day.

Apr 28, 2009, 7:58:00 PM and are worthless if your browser doesn't have Flash installed. ESPN also has a corporate policy of taking credit for stories it does not originate.

At least loads quickly and isn't dependent on Flash.

Anonymous said...
Apr 28, 2009, 10:34:00 PM  

1 - Use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer. IE is garbage.

2 - Install the Ad block plus add-on application to block ALL FLASH ADS on all websites.

Unholy_Diver said...
Apr 28, 2009, 10:50:00 PM  

I'll take a negative reaction from some readers to the new site design over unicorns any day of the week.

Rob King 8:25 PM April 28th

Faux Twitter said...
Apr 28, 2009, 11:28:00 PM  

That was quick. Just checked, looks like it's back to normal.

mjwild00 said...
Apr 29, 2009, 12:27:00 AM  

Oh no, they surrendered to the terrorists!

Maynard said...
Apr 29, 2009, 12:40:00 AM  

I can honestly say that since the changed their format in January, I have not visited the main site more than twice. I'll still jump to links to pages on their site, but I removed my bookmark for the home page.

Kevin McGuire said...
Apr 29, 2009, 12:59:00 AM  

If didn't allow itself to be extorted by 'full-of-themselves' media hacks (they know who they are), then the whole enterprise would be more economical. As it is, they have big media-salary mouths to feed, and that means bludgeoning visitors with advertising...which, by the way, is pulling in less and less per eyeball. What to do? Do you stop paying people like Reilly umpteen gazillion dollars for his inept work? Or do you shovel MORE advertising at us so you can keep paying Reilly for his inept work because, you know, you signed a 'contract.' Media today is groveling for every penny they can and it's driving even MORE eyeballs away...from newspapers, from TV news, from weekly magazines.

Chris said...
Apr 29, 2009, 7:45:00 AM  

I'm surprised that so many people don't use adblock. Its so easy - run firefox, install adblock plus extension - you'll never see an ad on a website again.

sag969 said...
Apr 29, 2009, 11:57:00 AM  

The one thing to note was that it was a special promotion for apple. If you clicked on any of the ad's they took you to the apple site. i am not saying that it was a great idea, but at least it may be a one off, rather than hitting us with three ads at once. (yes i work in media, no i dont work for espn or apple)

Advanced said...
Apr 29, 2009, 5:37:00 PM  

This is terrible. Especially if you're wheeling a laptop and have to scroll with your finger to get to the headlines.

Anonymous said...
Apr 29, 2009, 6:23:00 PM  

How could you let the new site grow on you? Getting to the scores (the only important thing on the site) takes extra clicks. While everybody else is trying to make their sites easier to use, espn is making theirs harder in order to increase page views.

Dr Huxtable said...
Apr 30, 2009, 3:34:00 AM  
Anonymous said...
Sep 26, 2009, 8:35:00 AM  

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