This week, CNN.com informed readers that “Starting in February, CNN Sports will be provided by Bleacher Report.” No doubt a seismic shift in not just sports, but news coverage as a whole. For better or for worse, on TV, CNN is dwarfed in ratings by more polar cable news outlets, MSNBC and Fox News. Digitally you couldn’t find a more polar change than this one. SI is a standard-bearer of sports coverage, an iconic brand, and a solid online destination for sports fans in its own right. Bleacher Report is a sprawling online community of thousands of mostly unpaid contributers that has leveraged the web and gave a voice, as its name implies, to the fan. With SI, you know what you get. Journalism. With B/R, like most “blogs,” it’s a little greyer. You delve more into that cable news “info-tainment.” In essence, CNN is doing online what it fails to do on TV. It is giving itself an opinion-driven, controversial voice. Frankly, while some may scratch their heads, it makes sense for everyone. Turner (CNN) promotes one of its own, growing properties. Bleacher makes a coupe, a no-brainer. SI will land on its feet based on its reputation and resources, and probably gives itself a lot more autonomy to grow without having to worry about its partnership restrictions.
More from Awful Announcing:
“This is a sea change in the industry. CNN, one of the most famous names in all of broadcasting, is moving forward with a totally new perspective from Bleacher Report. While what’s happening at CNN.com is certainly newsworthy, it’s just the beginning of the larger scale integration of Bleacher Report across Turner Broadcasting. Turner also added that their sports department and Sports Illustrated “are always looking for ways to further work together” in spite of CNN’s embracing of Bleacher Report at the apparent expense of SI.
In truth, you couldn’t have two more opposing poles of the sports media than Sports Illustrated and Bleacher Report. The old and the new, representatives of the print and digital age, etc. This tectonic shift taking place at CNN.com and the beginning stages of Bleacher Report’s integration with Turner Sports is symbolic of the sports media world as a whole at the current moment. CNN.com’s imminent change of course from Sports Illustrated to Bleacher Report may just be the biggest sign of all that the sports world has gone digital and entered a new age.”