Thursday, March 29, 2012

ESPN vs. Sports Illustrated (Part 1)

Last night I had what I think is a good idea: compare to Sports Illustrated's website and do a series of posts on the subject.  Today, I'll be comparing the biggest sports news of the day as defined by the two organizations (on ESPN, this is labeled "Headlines," while on Sports Illustrated, it's called "Top Stories").

Today, ESPN's first "Headline" story is about some positives and negatives of the purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  By contrast, Sports Illustrated leads with a story about the Oakland Athletics' victory over the Seattle Mariners that has the angle of, "It was the first major league home run of Yoenis Cespedes that led the A's to a win over Seattle" (this is not a direct quote, but if I were to paraphrase, that's what the story tells me). 

However, ESPN does have the same story about the A's that Sports Illustrated leads off with, and Sports Illustrated does have a story about the Dodgers further down in its list (though Sports Illustrated's story about the Dodgers is a straight news story with the header "Magic Johnson group to buy Dodgers").

As for the rest of the "big" news stories on each site, most appear to be the same.  Both have stories about the University of Illinois hiring a new men's basketball coach, the McDonald's high school all-star basketball game, and the Montreal Canadiens firing their general manager, to name a few.

In today's post, ESPN's "Headlines" (shown here in a screen shot) section faces off against...
...the "Top Stories" of Sports Illustrated's webiste (shown here in a screen shot).  

Though I didn't read all the stories, it looks like sometimes they both report on the same story with a slightly different angle. For instance, the NFL implemented some rule changes yesterday, and the actual news line on ESPN's headlines reads, "All NFL turnovers to be reviewed."  SI, on the other hand, says "NFL adopting playoff OT rules for regular season," on its listing of what it calls "Top Stories."  Each of the two articles mentions both rule changes relatively quickly once you click on their respective links, but that doesn't change the fact that their headers for the stories are slightly different.

Another difference in coverage: on SI's site, a "Top Story" was "Shorthanded Knicks smoke Magic."  On ESPN, the Amare Stoudemire's injury seemed bigger news than the Knicks' victory, which was included as a story simply headlined "Knicks roll" (Sports Illustrated's site did not include a separate news article on Stoudemire's injury as of my writing this post).

Of course, there are a few slight differences in the pieces included as the main news on the two sites. included a story on Stan Van Gundy discussing why it's ridiculous to think the University of Kentucky men's b-ball team could defeat the 11-win, 38-loss Washington Wizards (I say we make them play each other once their respective seasons are over!).  And Sports Illustrated's site includes a story on Brandon Jacobs signing a deal with the San Francisco 49ers that isn't on's "Headlines" now (though I did see it there last night). 

So if this were a contest between ESPN and SI to see who has a better list of the big news stories of the day, I would call it a tie since the two sites are so similar in regard to this feature. 

That's all for now.  Hopefully I can continue this "contest" between and Sports Illustrated's site in subsequent blog posts. 

**Note: When I was almost finished with the post, some "Headlines" on changed.  If I had the time to re-write it, I would, but I do not, unfortunately.  I apologize that I will not have the opportunity to re-write this post.  

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