The efforts to dominate the sports category online continue with today’s latest news from Fox Sports Digital which announced that it will be teaming up with Sporting News Media. By combining the distribution reach of Fox Sports Digital’s FOXSports.com and Sporting News Media’s SportingNews.com and Goal.com, the new entity, which will be classified quite aptly by Comscore as “Fox Sports Digital — Sporting News Media”, is said to now have an aggregate reach of nearly 55 million sports fans monthly.
In addition to sharing and swapping the existing library of editorial and video content, the two companies will be commissioning joint original video programming and editorial content as well. The new entity will also share a sales unit to generate revenue against the various joint projects.
This news comes on the heels of a strong quarter for sports category competitors like ESPN, which has been bolstering its original video offering in an effort to further its tie to live sports programming. Strategies like ESPN’s have become a growing trend in the sports category to supplement live sports programming with in-house original programming for distribution across the web and all devices.
Another digital competitor, The Whistle, has also had a remarkably strong first half of the year since launching its MCN business in January. Since then, The Whistle has acquired the Lacrosse Network, locked in deals with MLB Advanced Media and AVP Beach Volleyball, raised $10M in Series A funding, and scaled to over 6M subscribers.
But Fox Sports Digital — Sporting News Media is tackling both of these companies via syndication, curation and original content creation coupled with a scale that might now have them stand tall as the leader in the sports category.
As part of the deal Fox Sports Digital — Sporting News Media venture will share Sporting News Media’s most valuable asset — SN ePlayer, which syndicates professional and collegiate digital video from the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, SEC, BIG 12, PAC 12, NASCAR, Barclay’s Premier League, La Liga, PGA Tours, UFC, Bellator, ATP, and WTA across 400+ leading national and local publisher sites in North America.
“FOX Sports is focused on developing audiences of sports fans across multiple video platforms, including FOXSports.com, YouTube, Facebook, Yardbarker, and now the SN ePlayer platform. This partnership extends our multi-platform reach and reinforces our leadership as a supplier of high quality, engaging video inventory for brand advertisers.” This according to Fox Sports EVP, Digital, Pete Vlastelica.
The game just got a lot more interesting.