SBD/Issue 192/Sports Media

Hill Seeking To Add Original Content, Video To FoxSports.com

David Hill Says FoxSports.com Needs
More Innovation, More Forward Thinking
Fox Sports Chair & CEO David Hill is putting together a plan to evolve FoxSports.com to "reach more users and offer greatly expanded original programming," according to John Consoli of ADWEEK. Hill: "FoxSports.com is not broken. We are in a good place right now. But we need to bring more innovation to the site. Right now, most content on sports sites is past tense. We want to make it more forward thinking." Consoli notes Hill in April was given oversight over FoxSports.com's "overhaul of its look and functionality" when News Corp. Chair & CEO Rupert Murdoch authorized moving the site "from under the Fox Interactive Media umbrella to Fox Broadcasting Group." Hill "believes there should be more cross-pollination of TV sports commentators on FoxSports.com," and he also "wants to inject a little more irreverence into the commentary to offer viewers a distinct destination." Most Fox NASCAR commentators do "video reports on the site during the racing season," but MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal and NFL reporter Jay Glazer are the only other personalities "doing extensive online video." The site currently offers "about four hours of original video per day, a scale that Hill hopes to dramatically expand." While most of Hill's ideas are "currently in the development stage, he is already touting one show he wants to produce" that involves NFL sideline reporter Tony Siragusa. Hill also is "pondering the production of an online show with his Fox NFL Sunday studio team of Howie Long, Terry Bradshaw and Jimmy Johnson."

MAJOR RENOVATIONS: Hill, who plans to "target men at work," would like to "slot promotional spots on each of the Fox Sports TV telecasts to alert viewers of the online programming and drive them to the site." Hill said that he "hopes to also beef up the fantasy sports area and 'down the road' wants to offer more video coverage of sports at every level." The entire site redesign and inclusion of new video content "could take up to a year to be fully implemented." Fox Sports Interactive Senior VP/Operations Jeff Husvar said that the new site will "roll out beginning in September." Husvar also said the goal from the technical side is to "make the site easier to navigate." Sources said that while the "revamp of the site and its content production will primarily be done in-house, Fox is expected to invest several million dollars in the project" (ADWEEK, 6/22 issue).

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