Leonsis Challenges Sports Coverage Status Quo


A lesson in the economics of new media … The Washington Post isn’t covering the World Championships of Hockey in Moscow but Ted Leonsis, AOL vice chairman and Washington Caps owner, “has decided to invest” by deploying a news team of his own. Leonsis explains on his blog that he’s sending four people to Moscow. Their coverage will be posted online for free and, he writes, “we will share the news with new and traditional media outlets and syndicate it far and wide. We will also nest it on Washingtoncaps.com and the blogosphere via a widget built by Clearspring Technologies.” So Leonsis gets content for his site, off-season attention for the Caps and the chance to show off a widget for a company in which he has an investment.

He also gets to talk about disintermeditation without mentioning the word: “Web 2.0 makes it possible for us to get our coverage out to millions and millions of people, promoting our sport, our team and our players. Our coverage on the web and in the blogosphere is starting to look like a well heeled major media enterprise compared to many traditional media outlets that must curtail their coverage due to lack of budget based on the fragile state of their old business model.”

Where did Leonsis get his Moscow team? He recruited two members by sending a note to a favorite hockey blog On Frozen Blog and asking if one or two of the bloggers could go. They sent a proposal and now two are in Moscow. The other two are from the Caps.

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