SBD/May 29, 2013/Media

SI Launching A Daily, Live Web Show; May Increase Live Streaming Of Events

Sports Illustrated will "expand its presence in live online video with a new daily talk show, 'SI Now,' beginning June 3 on SI.com," according to Eric Fisher of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The half-hour program will air at 1:00pm ET and be hosted by Maggie Gray. Content will be "a mix of news and commentary, and feature SI writers and invited newsmakers." The show will "not delve heavily into tactical, X’s-and-O’s breakdown of games, and remain more issues-oriented." SI.com with the live video program also "deepens its competition with its key digital sports rivals, including ESPN, Yahoo and Fox." Ford has signed on as the "exclusive sponsor of 'SI Now,' with the term extending through November, the initial commitment for the program." SI execs at that time will "determine future steps for 'SI Now'" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/27 issue). AD AGE's Michael Sebastian noted SI created a video unit in '10 and execs said that it "produces about 50 original videos each week," but "SI Now" is the "first regular, live video series from any Time Inc. brand." SI.com Managing Editor Matt Bean said that an "archive of the episodes will reside on the site, and certain segments will be spliced into separate videos and dropped into related SI.com stories." SI has "hired five new staffers to work on the show, though some of them may have additional roles at Time Inc. as the company expands its video production" (ADAGE.com, 5/28). Bean and Time Inc. News & Sports Exec Producer Ian Orefice said that the idea to produce the show "was in response to the fact that, every day around 1 p.m., SI.com sees a sizable boost in traffic." The site also will "have the ability to broadcast live from big sports events, like the upcoming U.S. Open" (ADWEEK.com, 5/28).
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