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First things first

7 April 2014

Before coming up with a show name, deciding format or solidifying story ideas, it was important that we first take a look at what’s already out there. We called this our “competitive analysis.” We wanted to find out what currently exists in terms of magazine shows—both specific and not-specific to sports, while also looking at sports websites that feature magazine (show) style stories.

In order to come up with a list of existing shows, it was necessary to define a magazine show. Some of the characteristics we used to define such shows included: immersion reporting, evergreen stories, longer pieces and/or segments, possible round tables or panel discussions, more emphasis on why things happen rather than just what happened.

The team talked about various shows and websites and then divvied them up to do more in-depth research. This included finding out what each show/website does, its mission statement, format, content and execution.

This research enabled us to find trends, overall commonalities and some differences among magazine shows. The word cloud above displays many of the shows we looked at, as well as some of the characteristics that many shared.

When it came to the tone and style we found there is a combination of serious “investigation” and lighter features. For many of the shows, there was an “on the ground presence,” where the reporter was in the field, as opposed to an anchor at a desk. This is an attempt to capture people in everyday life; from a sports perspective that means going beyond what happens on the court or field.

Many of the stories are investigative in nature and they are also more in-depth. Shows tend to be broken up by commercial breaks, typically by segment and often include an anchor that introduces a new story.

We did find variation in terms of shows having panel discussions, what type of online presence they have and how they interact and engage with audiences.

The insight gained by conducting a competitive analysis helped us shape our market research questions and also gave us an idea of how we may want to tailor our show.