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ESPN, which revealed a plan this week to launch a series of local sports Web sites, may soon be contending with local CBS Sports sites as well. As reported by the Fang’s Bites blog, ESPN has registered at least 26 ESPN(Cityname).com sites, but CBS Sports is also in on the action, having registered at least 15 CBSSports(Cityname).com domains.

Eleven of the cities overlap between ESPN and CBS Sports. They are Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. All will be competing with local newspapers, radio stations and other sources (Fox anyone?).

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  1. The casual sports fan has always had an insatiable demand for “their” sports content. While ESPN’s initial press release was largely about the local TV channels, I’m glad to see coverage of the online component. I think there’s a tremendous underserved opportunity in the enhanced content experience (gamecasting, crowdsourced video, fantasy games, and casual games such as ESPN’s STREAK). The ability to “watch” a high school football game using the same interface as the Sunday NFL product is not far away.

    The irony, of course, is that Fox Sports started as a collection of regional TV networks. Fox Sports has not made the same investments in enhanced content, instead choosing to let a third party (MSN) manage the platform. While I’m just guessing about the nature of the MSFT relationship, my impression is that the companies that own and operate their own technology platforms are spending more time innovating the experience and less time managing intercompany relationships.

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