Other local editions are rolling out in the near term, to NY, LA and Dallas. According to the NY Times’ piece:
ESPN Chicago does not seem to have cut into The Tribune’s online sports audience as much as it has slowed its growth, according to a review of the traffic data.
At The Los Angeles Times, which is about to face ESPN head-on, the associate editor, Randy Harvey, said: “It would be foolish to underestimate ESPN, but it comes down to resources. I don’t see them being able to replicate what we do.”
Once ESPN establishes itself in local markets, it plans to move deeper into local sports — down to the high school level and perhaps beyond — by using social networking and other technology to inform its journalism.
Just as CNN offers news from everyday people through its iReport service, ESPN could augment its local coverage by tapping sports fans. Picture fathers uploading scores from their daughters’ soccer games.
Depending on how far they take it this will also provide ESPN.com with a local ad network (beyond IP targeting).