Had the CNN/SI network not been abandoned early last decade, Sports Illustrated would have loads of video to use online. Instead, starting in early 2010, it has had
to build a video hub on SI.com itself.
The effort, which yields some 50 videos a week, will take on another dynamic next month with the launch of a live, daily 30-minute talk show. Tabbed “SI Now,” the magazine will later use various segments elsewhere on SI.com.
“We really look at this as an opportunity for video to take a leading role in content across the
entire site, not just for that 30 minutes every day, but we need that 30 minutes every day as essentially the engine,” said Matt Bean, SI.com managing editor.
Ford has a title sponsorship role, though how it will be integrated is still be worked out.
SI video personality Maggie Gray will host the show, which will air at 1 p.m. ET when SI.com traffic is particularly high. Often with SI writers and editors, it will include discussions on marquee, percolating topics in the sports world and emphasize social media interaction.
“We only have 30 minutes, so if you compare that to 'ESPN News' or 'SportsCenter' all day, they’re going to talk about everything from a trade in baseball to a coach getting fired to anything that happened in sports,” said Ian Orefice, Time Inc. executive producer of news and sports. “That’s really not the purpose of this show. If (a topic) has a longer shelf life, if it reaches a certain critical mass in sports, then we should be talking about it.”
Ultimately, he said, “People want to hear the Sports Illustrated perspective.”