Soon SI.com will no longer redirect you to sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Turner, CNN’s parent company and Sports Illistrated will be ending their partnership later this quarter. CNN had been “managing” SI’s web presence for several years. Essentially they were selling ads for Sports Illustrated. Now comes word that Turner is interested in buying Bleacher Report.
Turner is basically trading SI away for BR in return? It seems lopsided. And it is if you are talking about quality. Maybe we need a sports media commissioner. Obviously quality content is certainly not the only thing Turner is thinking about here. If quality were the most important trait, Bleacher Report wouldn’t be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Yep, six figures. Does that almost make you sick? Maybe it’s just me, due to my quasi sports media ties.
Here’s the most shocking thing of all — Bleacher Report’s traffic is nearly the same as SI.com’s, according to comScore. In May 2012, SI’s sites brought in 9.3 million unique users. That same month BR’s sites brought in 9.2 million unique viewers.
That’s unbelievable. BR is KNOWN for publishing absolute TRASH. It’s largely fucking garbage, plain and simple. The site is all about scheming for pageviews. And, worst of all, it’s blatant and obvious. The most infamous way they do this is through useless slideshows. Shit, I hate those slideshows.
At the same time, SI definitely plays up the swimsuit angle. I’d love to see how much of SI’s traffic is predicated on pictures of women in bikinis. Great sports journalism there.
Bleacher Report has a similar counterpart in Business Insider. Both have started to make that transition from pure news aggregation from unpaid contributors to a content destination using full-time staffers. In my opinion, BI is much further along in this regard. However, it’s evident that BR is looking to move more in that direction. The success of such a move is definitely still up in the air for BR.
The founders of Bleacher Report (and Business Insider for that matter) are geniuses, though. At BR used unsuspecting teenagers to write about the latest Monday Night Raw episode and draw in readers. The going rate regarding pay for those 13-year-olds? Zero point zero dollars. They’ve essentially parlayed that concept into a site that is as big as one of the most storied sports journalism empires in the history of the world. Not a bad business model.
Regardless of the actual content, Bleacher Report is certainly growing. That’s undeniable, and clearly evident in those comScore numbers. What’s that? They are hiring?
[H/T All Things D]