ESPN Revamps Web Portal

Original: is counting on less clutter and more advertising options to bolster revenue at a time when its sister cable channels are battling rare weakness. ESPN has redesigned much of its primary Web portal.

The overhaul included rejiggering its site to be more simple, reducing the number of links from 36 to 19. Making as appealing to visitors as possible — and thus to advertisers — has taken on greater importance as the economic recession in general and in auto sales in particular have put pressure on the company’s television ad sales, according to The New York Times.

The new gives advertisers eight options for displaying messages on its most heavily visited pages, up from three. A new video advertising option specifically with movie studios in mind, is being rolled out in January.

Ford has signed up as the redesign’s presenting sponsor.