While ESPN (NYSE: DIS) and Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) have been grabbing headlines for their online local sports expansions, Fox Sports Net has been rolling out the soft launch of a dozen local sites over the past couple of weeks. So quietly that it took an alert reader to clue me in and, thanks to Steve, paidContent apparently is the first to report it. But the efforts are on very different scales. For instance, though Fox Sports confirms it has added some staff for the sites, nothing is being said about hiring beat writers for each team or the like. And while ESPN and Comcast Sports so far are concentrating on a few key cities, Fox Sports has pushed out a fresh template with new features for each owned-and-operated RSN.
Fox Sports spokesman Chris Bellitti said the group’s plans aren’t a reaction: “Our plans were underway long before ESPN rolled out their sites. Our goal is to be the best at serving local sports fans and a strong online platform helps us achieve that.