Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Television chains rushing to create Web sites for high-school sports, invading local media province

Coverage of high-school sports has long been a staple, and an important audience-builder, for local news media. Now local outlets are getting more competition from national media chains, and they could have an impact in rural areas.

"Within days of each other, three media companies . . . launched Web brands aimed at high school sports," writes Katy Bachman of MediaWeek, reporting on the latest site to be announced, by Hearst-Argyle Television, highschoolplaybook.com. "Emmis Communications, partnering with the Indiana High School Athletic Association launched a statewide brand, IHSAAsports.org. Belo [Corp.] launched hsgametime.com in six of its markets, with plans to roll out the site out to all the company’s markets by the end of this month."

Hearst-Argyle plans to launch the site in all 25 of its markets and "to syndicate the site in markets where it doesn’t own stations, with the goal of reaching 100 markets by August 2009," Bachman reports. "One of the main signatures of Playbook are the specially trained student sideline reporters, at least 10 in each market, who will not only contribute video coverage but serve as the face and voice of the community . . . equipped with Canon HV20 high-definition camcorders, provided by Canon, the first sponsor of the site. The site is also heavy on social networking with MySpace- and Facebook-like community tools including personal profile pages, team pages, school pages, SMS voting and other 'mashable' content." (Read more)

No comments: