Turner Sports' David Levy on Time Inc.'s Latest Power Play
It's a match made in digital heaven for sports entertainment enthusiasts: Sports Illustrated and Turner Sports have teamed up to deliver an online sports powerhouse, combining the magazine's celebrated brand and award-winning sports journalism with Turner's vast digital media experience. And it looks like both have donned their game faces to take on rivals like ESPN.
In an effort to bolster digital advertising and overall online presence, Turner's sports division will take control of the business side of SI.com and Golf.com, adding them to its portfolio of 19 digital sports and entertainment sites like NBA.com, Nascar.com and PGA.com. Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated will continue to create editorial content across all platforms: the print magazine, websites and mobile/tablet version. The new entity will be called "Turner/SI Digital." In short, the deal moves the traffic and digital assets of Sports Illustrated into Turner Sports, leaving the magazine as a separate entity.
Executives believe the partnership will allow each to leverage the other's operating strengths—Turner Sports' digital media experience and Sports Illustrated's editorial perspective—in building an online sports destination to rival the likes of ESPN and Yahoo Sports.
Inbox took a moment to talk with David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., about the partnership and the future of Turner/SI Digital.
Inbox: Do you see this as a way to make Turner Sports as powerful a sports brand as ESPN?
David Levy: This is a partnership between two companies who bring best-in-class capabilities. Sports Illustrated is the most recognized and trusted source for sports journalism in the industry. Turner Sports brings established digital media expertise, resources and video rights. When you add SI.com and Golf.com to Turner's collection of sports and entertainment digital properties we have created a preeminent online sports portfolio.
SI.com and Golf.com complement Turner Sports' robust digital portfolio it manages, which includes the NBA Digital portfolio, Nascar.com, PGAtour.com and PGA.com. Additionally, Turner Sports broadcasts a number of events year round on TBS, TNT and truTV, including the NBA, MLB, NASCAR, the PGA Championships and, beginning in 2011, the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.