Comcast Sports Group has jumped into the electronic publishing game, teaming with the Sporting News to deliver regional editions in the areas served by its regional sports networks.
The first regionalized edition of Sporting News Today, supplementing the national edition of the digital product, bowed in Comcast's hometown of Philadelphia this week. Additional regional editions will launch in other Comcast Sports Group DMAs, starting early next year.
Deal terms were not disclosed, but Comcast Sports Group will sell local ads, while Sporting News handles the national inventory. Subscriptions to the local editions, accessible on Macs, PCs, iPhones and iPads, cost $3.99 per month, one dollar more than the national edition.
The rollout of the regionalized Sporting News Today represents another shot against local newspaper coverage of the sports scene. For its part, ESPN has created Web sites surveying the landscapes in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas and Chicago.
Each local edition will include eight to 20 pages of local news, analysis, scores, stats and more produced by Comcast Sports Group's regional affiliate. Each edition will feature a customized local cover with the hometown content positioned directly in front of the full daily national edition and branded Sporting News Today, powered by Comcast SportsNet.
"During the past 18 months we have built the strongest local digital sports desk in our markets featuring some of the most respected local sports journalists," said Comcast Sports Group executive vice president and chief digital officer Eric Grilly in announcing entry. "Today's partnership allows us to extend the reach of our growing hometown coverage to new audiences in conjunction with one of the most storied and innovative names in national sports journalism."
Noted Jeff Price, president and ublisher of Sporting News: "Comcast Sports Group's commitment to best-in-class, comprehensive local coverage combined with the marketing strength of their regional sports networks is extremely appealing to us. Together, we'll deliver an entirely new genre of local/national digital magazine to avid fans on a daily basis, particularly among fans in the exploding tablet marketplace."