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HEARST, ESPN LAUNCH MAGAZINE; ESPN LAUNCHES ONLINE SERVICE
Published April 3, 1995
"ESPN's Total Sports" is the name of the new sports magazine to be published jointly by Hearst Corp.'s Magazine Division and ESPN, according to INSIDE MEDIA's Chuck Ross and Langdon Brockington. Hearst and ESPN will test market four issues, starting with a football preview on August 1. The second issue will be a NBA preview, dated October 1. The dates and content of the third and fourth test issues are still being decided. The original concept was to make "ESPN's Total Sports" weekly -- as a "younger skewing, hip competitor to Time Inc.'s Sports Illustrated." The editorial staff would prefer to go weekly, "but there are lots of politics here about that," said one source. Ross & Brockington note it is hard to test a weekly's viability by launching preview issues. The Hearst/ESPN venture will go up against SI's preview issues as well as Street & Smith. Said one source: "This will be more of a market test of the pull of the ESPN brand name" (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 3/31). ESPN ONLINE: ESPN Enterprises Inc. and Paul Allen's Starwave unveiled their multimedia sports-information service on Sunday during the Final Four in Seattle. Announced as ESPNET SportsZone, the service (formerly Satchel Sports) is on the World Wide Web at http://ESPNET. SportsZone.Com. People attending the Final Four Fan Jam this weekend, as well as the nation's sports media, will get a chance to experience ESPNET SportsZone through live demos. It was also announced that ESPNET SportsZone will be a "major provider" of sports info on The Microsoft Network, Microsoft's online service planned for release later this year. Sponsor involvement includes the "Gatorade Cooler Site." The site includes a Michael Jordan section, along with current event listings, a user bulletin board and facts about personalities and sports performances (ESPN/Starwave).