ESPN Practices Less Than Aboveboard Journalism? Say it Ain’t So!

Awful Announcing last week was the latest to take ESPN to task for its well known practice of piggybacking on someone else’s’ news stories and either portraying them as being broken by the WWL or as revealed by “anonymous sources.”

It is becoming an increasingly common complaint among non-ESPN sports reporters that after they break a story ESPN will run with a similar story and attribute it to sources. ESPN then might later credit the proper source, but not always.

The article notes two recent cases where this has happened. Tim Brown of Yahoo broke the Albert Pujols to the Angels and quickly afterward ESPN’s Buster Olney has “sources” that confirm the trade. The second was Brett McMurphy at CBS broke the Big East expansion story and again ESPN missed the boat crediting sources for its version.

In the past it has been noted that reporters such as Fox’s Jay Glazer often break big football stories that are then shown on ESPN’s Mort Report unattributed. But now it seems that more and more people are speaking out against the practice, including a number of ex-ESPN people who certainly must have some insider information on the topic.

The article goes on to provide some pretty funny comments from rivals that show what they think of the practice. One from Greg Doyle notes that “Someday I hope to break a story so big that ESPN credits me, even if it does misspell “Doyel” as “sources”

While this might just seem to be petty sniping, breaking news is hard, and someone that is out in front of the pack on news stories deserves to be credited for their work. I am sure many people have been incensed when someone at their work gets or takes credit for something that you did, ESPN just plays on a bigger stage.

In the rush to get news out quickly it is always possible to forget to properly credit the original source, and no doubt everybody that has done any amount of reporting has probably been guilty of this at least once, but it does seem that it is a fairly common occurrence in Bristol.

In beta, Fox sets Aug. 13 date for soccer upgrade will get a new look Aug. 13, and soccer will also have new iPad and iPhone applications, according to Fox Sports.

The move underscores the continued push by major American sports broadcasters to improve the smartphone and iPad viewer experience. As we’ve previously reported, Turner Sports has enjoyed runaway success in 2011 with NCAA March Madness and NBA Basketball on mobile devices.


Beta Underway

Fox is already making soccer coverage available on two cable networks, iPad, smartphones and on the Internet at

With its formal launch date set, Fox will attempt to establish itself as the dominant broadcaster of soccer to televisions, iPads and smart phones. Although soccer is a niche sport, it has great demographics, which is attractive to advertisers and marketers.

The Aug. 13 launch date ties in with the start of the Barclays Premier League season. Fox says it will have new shows and better graphics on all of its soccer broadcasting platforms by that date. 

Nathanson a mobile sports exec to watch 

The executive leading the Fox charge is David Nathanson, Fox Soccer general manager. Fox Soccer will also begin offering bundled content, allowing cable and satellite subscribers the option of watching the games on computer and tablet devices, Nathanson said in a statement.

“We want people to see the best soccer games in the world wherever and whenever it is the most convenient,” said Nathanson. “Our audience is smart, they want new technologies, they want the best coverage. With our mobile app and the coming iPad app, we’re delivering.”