A group of local media companies from across the country are launching a new effort that aims to help them compete with outlets like The Athletic by providing subscribers better access to sports coverage. Dubbed the Local Media Consortium, the alliance of publishers will be launching “The Matchup,” which will allow an estimated 78 million subscribers to see the local coverage of teams from a variety of outlets across the country.
The effort is being supported by Google and its Google News Initiative, which the search giant created to support the local journalism. There will also be advertising and sponsorships around the content, which will only be available to subscribers of the local papers. The site is expected to debut in 2021.
It will face stiff competition from other major sports media companies like ESPN and The Athletic – the latter is approaching 1 million paid subscribers and embarking on new cross-marketing strategies to increase readership.
Major Local Media Consortium Members:
— Atlanta Journal-Constitution
— Boston Globe
— Chicago Sun-Times
— Dallas Morning News
— Gannett network, including the Detroit Free Press and Arizona Republic
— Las Vegas Review Journal
— Los Angeles Times
— McClatchy network, including the Kansas City Star and The Sacramento Bee
— Minnesota Star Tribune
— Philadelphia Inquirer
— Tampa Bay Times
— Toronto Star