ESPN New York launches today.
The site's launch was similar to the other new ESPN city-specific sites, a bid by the media giant to take on local media.
To succeed, he says, ESPNNewYork.com will need to give its readers content they won't be able to find anywhere else. "That's what New York is all about: When you fall asleep at night, you're thinking about what the competition will bring the next day. When you wake up in the morning, it's still on your mind. You chart yourday based on what you have or what you didn't have."
While ESPN New York may offer contributors who cannot be found anywhere else, their hires indicate that the site is certainly intended as a direct competitor to the Daily News, Post, and WFAN.
Which is fine, but I'm probably not going to bother reading ESPN New York for several reasons.
Estimates of the New York City metropolitan area's population indicate that it has around 18,000,000 residents. Slightly over half of which live in the city proper. As such, it'd make sense to less coverage to suburban teams, but the Daily News/Post/WFAN don't believe in proportionality at all. Not only do they not pay attention to teams fr0m New Jersey and Long Island (and any hypothetical interests in the Lower Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut), but nearly all of their attention is focused on Major League Baseball, with token interest in the NFL each fall.
It certainly makes sense to skew content in those directions, but because the New York City metro market is so freakin' big, there are more, say, NHL fans in the area than in somewhere like Detroit. The Red Wings may have more market share than the three hockey teams here, but only 4,000,000 live in metro Detroit. These outlets underserve millions, which the Star-Ledger and Gannett papers likely appreciate. I don't begrudge that decision, but what's the impetus for me to visit ESPN New York:? I like football and baseball too, but I already have set preferences for coverage with both.
Furthermore, while the New York City tabloids and talk radio tend to have some very skilled beat reporters, their editorial content generally makes you, well, cringe. It's Bleacher Report with editors, solely aimed to appeal to knee jerk emotion, with little heed paid to any brand of reasonable arguments. That may sound harsh, but I'm not sure how else to articulate the point. Shoot me in the face for being so meta, but the only useful media distinction is with regards to quality. Tabloid content may be entertaining, and bless anyone who enjoys that stuff, but I don't really care for it. I would just be indifferent, but there are so many fans who parrot these base arguments that it's not really possible to just hide blissfully in a sports nerd bubble.
Maybe the WSJ Metro section will be better when it launches later in the month.