Mag Bag: 'Sports Illustrated' Plans Streaming Sports Network

by , Feb 20, 2014, 1:51 PM
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Sports Illustrated is planning to launch a streaming sports network in association with most of the big professional sports leagues and college conferences. The new company, 120 Sports, was formed in partnership with MLB, NHL, NBA, and Nascar, as well as college conferences via Campus Insiders, a joint venture between IMG College and Chicago-based digital sports-media company Silver Chalice.
 
In the official announcement, Sports Illustrated stated that 120 Sports will “intuitively integrate video and data in ways fans haven't experienced before.” The content will consist of original, hosted content presenting game highlights in the form of two-minute segments, include game footage, analysis, conversation and social commentary from the players, newsmakers and fans -- but apparently no live coverage of games.

Content will be optimized for a range of devices, using MLBAM's technology infrastructure and mobile app development. The company will introduce a premium content subscription product next year.
 
One name conspicuous by its absence is the NFL. That may be because the NFL has already formed some partnerships to distribute short-form video content, including highlights, to streaming video networks. In September 2013, the NFL struck deals with Sporting News Media and Twitter making short-form video highlights available to both. In January 2014, the NFL revealed plans to launch a personalized video network, NFL Now, with ad-supported, video-on-demand delivery of in-game highlights; the league will also make the content available to Yahoo and Xbox.
 
On the print side, Ad Age reports that this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has the most ad pages of any issue since 2007, with 112 print ad pages, up 8% over the same issue in 2013. This year’s issue, marking the 50th anniversary of the ever-popular Swimsuit franchise, includes custom campaigns from advertisers like Target, Mattel and Subway.
 
Hearst UK Taps Polar for Native Advertising
 
Blimey guv, native advertising is on the rise, idnit? This week, Hearst Corp.’s UK operations tapped Polar’s MediaVoice platform for native advertising. The list of Hearst Corp. UK businesses using MediaVoice includes Hearst Magazines, Haymarket Media Group, Future PLC and Net Communities, among others. Hearst Magazines UK group digital sales director Stephen Edwards stated: “Native advertising translates well to mobile, and Hearst needed a solution for scaling this new ad format across platform and across our brands." On this side of the pond, last year the Associated Press chose Polar’s MediaVoice for native advertising on the AP Web site.
 
Ad Age Bows New Web Site
 
Advertising Age has unveiled a new, redesigned Web site for the magazine brand and its associated Creativity site, optimized for a range of mobile devices, as well as desktop. The new site offers readers a more streamlined experience, as well as the ability to access Advertising Age and Creativity with a single subscription, plus new exclusive content and perks for subscribers. Ad Age product information, including live events, trend reports and the LookBook agency directory, are integrated into AdAge.com and Creativity-online.com.
 
 
Kuntz Heads To Gawker
 
Michael Kuntz, formerly publisher and chief revenue officer of Popular Mechanics, is leaving Hearst Magazines for Gawker Media, where he has been appointed vice president of sales. Before his Popular Mechanics stint, Kuntz served as associate vice president of digital sales at Rodale. Earlier, he was director of sales at Hearst’s SmartMoney from 2006-2009.

Wine Enthusiast Magazine Launches Redesign

Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s new design features a cover-to-cover revamp with expanded lifestyle reporting, an improved look and a fresh formula. Accompanying the redesign is more creative content. In conjunction with the print redesign and brand repositioning, WE has also refreshed its online counterpart: winemag.com. A recently launched Tasting Guide app offers over 145,000 wine, beer and spirits ratings in an engaging format.

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