Monday, April 19, 2010


ESPN New York debuted recently joining other local ESPN websites in Chicago, Dallas and Boston. Dan Shanoff wrote his thoughts on this based on a piece in GQ (they are both worth a read). So my question today: Is an ESPN Pittsburgh next?

Assuming ESPN New York succeeds, it seems inevitable to me that there will be an ESPN Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is as sports obsessed as anywhere else in the United States if not more. Dan Shanoff points out that in New York, ESPN "will compete against 3 newspapers, a fairly aggressive sports-news cable network and at least one radio juggernaut." Well, Pittsburgh currently has three separate sports radio talk stations not including the Mark Madden Show and the amount of time other morning shows such as the 96.1 KISS Morning Freak Show devote to the Pittsburgh sports scene. There are also two newspapers as well as KDKA's Sports Showdown WTAE's Action Sports Sunday and several call-in sports shows. (There are still call-in TV sports shows in Pittsburgh, right?) Plus, this doesn't count the several dozen blogs that cover Pittsburgh sports.

I guess this leads to another question. How can ESPN Pittsburgh succeed and what impact will it have on the Pittsburgh sports scene? (Yes, that is two questions.) Stan Savarn and Guy Junker would give the site instant credibility. However, each of the other local ESPN site have blogs. In my opinion, I think an ESPN Pittsburgh website could do well by getting some big name bloggers. Don at Mondesi's House already has a partnership with 93.7 The Fan. Attracting the guys at The PensBlog would be genius, though those guys seem very happy doing their own thing through Bloguin as do WHYGAVS and PSAMP. I can't see the folks at Behind The Steel Curtain, Bucs Dugout and PensBurgh leaving SB Nation.

Seeing that Steve already works for ESPN, having him and Cotter from One for the Other Thumb would be who I would hire if I wanted to get a unique perspective on the Steelers. Steelers Depot should also receive some consideration. Tim of BUCCO would make sense for Pirates coverage as would Chas of Pitt Blather for everything Pitt. Maybe the folks from Pens Universe for Penguins coverage?

While I have no idea how an ESPN Pittsburgh website would impact the newspapers and radio station in the 'Burgh, I think there could be some great opportunities to highlight local bloggers.

No comments: