I’m still not sure why ESPN chose to start their local website launch in Chicago, but obviously it was successful enough that they decided to expand. The “Leader” announced the addition of three new local sites in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. Via ESPN PR….
ESPN announced today that it will roll out three more city-specific sports sites in the months ahead, with Dallas, Los Angeles and New York joining the successful ESPNChicago.com. ESPNDallas.com is slated to launch this Fall, followed by ESPNNewYork.com and ESPNLosAngeles.com in the first half of 2010. Like ESPNChicago.com, each site will feature an integrated home for ESPN’s news and information, online video and digital audio powered by the flagship ESPN Radio station in each market, giving local fans a destination for their sports on-air, online, on-site and on mobile devices.
“Our commitment to expand ESPN’s network of localized sites is a testament to our dedication to serve sports fans and their passions,” said Marc Horine, vice president digital partnerships and sales development, ESPN Digital Media. “We understand that local sports interests ignite strong passions, and Dallas, New York and Los Angeles have some of the most storied franchises and fan bases in history. We’re excited by the early success we’ve had with ESPNChicago.com and the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Like ESPNChicago.com, each site will have its own short-form SportsCenter, hosted by SC anchors and providing an original 3-6 minute roundup of the city’s sports news, teams and figures each day.
According to the figures, ESPN Chicago is the city’s most popular website by attracting almost 600K worth of traffic. Obviously if other local sites by ESPN could put the same amount of a dent in the market, then this is another death blow to the flailing newspaper industry. You can look for ESPN Dallas this fall, and NY and LA to launch shortly after that.