NewsTrack 2: Super Bowl Coverage

Often referred to as America’s pastime, baseball has long occupied the number one spot for sports in this country. Although the concussion epidemic is a serious problem, baseball has been losing traction in the US, and football is on the rise. For evidence of this, look no further than viewership for this weekend’s Super Bowl 50.

Nearly 112 million people watched the Broncos defeat Cam Newton and the Panthers. Although last year’s Super Bowl did attract more overall viewers, Super Bowl 50 was still the third-most-watched television program in US history. Additionally, this game shattered streaming records, with a record 3.96 million people tuning in via laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and the like.

Because of the sheer popularity of football in the US, I thought there’d be more coverage of it on my NewsTrack site, CNN. Understanding that it’s not a typical sports site like ESPN, I realized that there wouldn’t be a great deal of recaps, siders, or features from the game, but I expected more coverage than I found.

After doing some digging on CNN’s site, I found that just going to CNN.com will not allow you to access CNN’s sports content. A tab at the top of the home page says “sports,” but this link leads you directly to Bleacher Report’s home page. After some research, I realized that this is because Turner Sports, which also owns CNN, acquired Bleacher Report in August 2012 for $170 million.

This could be an attempt by CNN to get more traffic to Bleacher Report’s site. At first I thought of this as somewhat of a poor strategy, leading readers away from CNN.com, but in a way it also continues to show commitment to their readers. CNN realizes that their primary focus and demographic is not avid sports fans, so they link those fans to the best coverage that they can find (Bleacher Report).

That being said, there is still sports and Super Bowl content to be found on CNN’s site – you just have to dig a little. If you switch to the from the US version of the site, as show below, you’ll be directed to content geared to a more international audience. On this new home page, the sports tab directs you CNN-driven sports content.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.00.05 PM

One of these articles is a Super Bowl-related piece speculating whether or not this is the end of Peyton Manning’s famed career. It was a difficult season for the future Hall-of-Famer, as was injured for part of the year, lost his starting role upon his return, and still managed to propel his team through to the championship game amid HGH charges.

Although this post is not as in-depth as one you may see on ESPN, Bleacher Report, or even SB Nation, it still sheds some light on an important topic in the sports world. Borrowing some reports from ESPN, CNN again acknowledges that they are not the paramount sports network.

But with coverage like this, CNN again illustrates that they will not leave their readers in the dark on any topic, keeping them informed on almost anything they’re interested in… and some things they may not be interested in, like what Peyton’s mom thinks of her son’s potential retirement.

 

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