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HOW WILL NBC/FOX DEAL WITH CROWDED INTERNET SPORTS FIELD?
Published December 8, 1997
The "wars between cable and broadcast sports operations have spread beyond TV to the Web," according to Alan Breznick of CABLE WORLD. NBC Sports and Fox Sports "have made noise recently about joining the sports megasite wars." NBC reportedly has considered a joint sports site with Microsoft, and before CBS invested $100M into SportsLine, Fox reportedly was in "serious talks" with SportsLine USA. One "veteran" Web sports observer said, "The corporate branding imperative and corporate ego will drive NBC and Fox to do something. [The market's] probably going to be big enough for four or five [players], because they're going to force their way in." NBC and Fox "aren't publicly saying much about their Web sports strategies. But each has sought to make a splash with short-term sites built around big sporting events" (Alan Breznick, CABLE WORLD, 12/8 issue). ONE-STOP SHOP: Sportscape.com "aims to be to the sports- equipment market what Amazon.com is to the publishing business." The site offers more than 2,500 products ranging from baseball gloves to hockey sticks at prices 10-30% below retail. Sportscape is affiliated directly with distributors and offers equipment from brand-name companies, including Wilson and Spalding. It plans to add shoes and apparel within the next year. The goal is "100,000 products sold online within the next 18 months" (BUSINESS WEEK, 12/15).