Sports Illustrated To Go Around AOL; Talks With Yahoo For Sports Portal

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So says a story in AdAge (which went behind a subscription wall before I could fully read it)…Sports Illustrated, which tried to get sister company AOL to collaborate on a joint sports portal in the hopes of competing directly with ESPN (this WSJ , could be on the verge of a hook-up with Yahoo, instead, according to AdAge. Yahoo’s strong fantasy sports offerings are a major plus and fit in with SI’s own fantasy plans. As for that other fantasy of head-to-head competition with ESPN.com, Yahoo’s base of 10 million-plus monthly uniques is well ahead of AOL’s 7 million-plus; no idea about the dupe factor.
From WSJ, a story earlier this year which describes SI’s efforts to work with AOL: “When Sports Illustrated approached AOL last year about cooperating on a new Web site, AOL executives were caught off guard. The combination would have created the biggest sports site on the Web, but now AOL wasn’t interested. It had already planned to focus on online video and wanted to remain an aggregator of other outlets’ content. While AOL executives insist they have a good relationship with Time Inc., relying exclusively on Sports Illustrated in this case would be too limiting, they felt….At Jeff Bewkes’ behest, Time Inc. approached Yahoo and others about a partnership. It has yet to strike a deal.”
We’ll have more on this later.

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