Let the Games Begin, But Before they Begin….

By Carl Lindemann

A flood of pre-Olympic coverage is starting to pour through a multitude of online outlets, now with WCSN.com offering live and on-demand content on Yahoo! Sports. Added up over the coming year, the sheer hours of content is likely to dwarf the 24/7 coverage that will take place at the games themselves. How the numbers add up from the dozens of Olympic sports that previously have been far from the spotlight remains to be seen. Will the sum total of these niche audiences add up to the kinds of following seen for the major sports?

For Carlos Silva, President and COO of WCSN, the sum of these sports’ audiences, gathered together, should match the whole of the big broadcast events.

“We think that if you put all this content together, this will become one of the top sports web sites. These sites just cover the majors. We think that the enthusiasts that know these other sports will come to us. That’s why we’re doing all these syndication deals (like Yahoo! Sports), powering their sites,” said Silva.

The WCSN.com strategy depends on more than just acting as an aggregator. Matching the numbers of the major sports sites will have to come through more than just the sum of these small audience parts. “Synergy” is a buzzword that is perhaps at low ebb today after it failed to deliver in the Dot Com era, but what Silva expects is that the different events will feed off each other, sparking greater interest.
“By themselves, these sports have a hard time standing alone in the US. But they play off each other the way we’re supporting them all.

People who like gymnastics are interested in diving, others into track & field like cycling,” said Silva.

Anticipated events leading up to the 2008 Games, viewable exclusively on WCSN and Yahoo! Sports, includes coverage of the IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Osaka, Japan, August 24-September 2; FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany September 1-9; FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Gstaad, Switzerland July 24-29, FINA World Cup, and the UCI Cycling Road World Championships.

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