The Score, that sports channel nobody gets because it doesn't show anything, has launched what it calls the "thescore.com Sports Federation", a network of independent sports blogs for the various Canadian NHL teams, the Jays and Raptors:
Toronto's Score Media Inc. has launched theScore.com Sports Federation, connecting together a network of independent sports websites, and empowering them to reach a larger audience - with the help and support of a national multi-platform sports network.
Here are the blogs they list, not one of which (except maybe CISblog) I'd heard of before today:
- Down Goes Brown (Toronto Maple Leafs blog) – http://www.downgoesbrown.com
- Canucks Hockey Blog (Vancouver Canucks blog) – http://www.canuckshockeyblog.com
- Five Hole Fanatics (Calgary Flames blog) – http://www.fiveholefanatics.ca
- Sens Chirp (Ottawa Senators blog) – http://www.senschirp.ca
- Black Dog Hates Skunks (Edmonton Oilers blog) – http://www.blackdoghatesskunks.com
- Lions in Winter (Montreal Canadiens blog) – http://www.lionsinwinter.ca
- Fantasy Hockey Scouts (fantasy hockey blog) – http://www.fantasyhockeyscouts.com
- Drunk Jays Fans (Toronto Blue Jays blog) – http://www.drunkjaysfans.com
- Ghostrunner on First (Toronto Blue Jays blog) – http://www.ghostrunneronfirst.com
- RaptorBlog.com (Toronto Raptors blog) – http://www.raptorblog.com
- Dino Nation Blog (Toronto Raptors blog) – http://www.dinonationblog.com
- The CIS Blog (Canadian Interuniversity Sports blog) – http://www.cisblog.ca
Now, I don't follow non-Montreal sports that closely, so I'm not in a position to judge most of these, but is Lions in Winter really the best Habs blog out there? Better than Fanatique, Habs Inside/Out or François Gagnon?
Yes, my three examples are blogs backed by Big Media, but that's kind of the point. Without the access and resources of big media (whether conventional big-city newspapers like The Gazette or La Presse, or hip new media like Branchez-Vous), all you have is some guy talking out of his ass (with all due respect to my fellow ass-talkers).
Small, part-time do-it-for-the-fun sports blogs are much more likely to be successful covering niches that big media ignore: university sports, junior leagues, soccer/golf/tennis, etc. The audience is smaller, but it's also much less fragmented.
UPDATE: Getting some awesome linkhate from Drunk Jays Fans and RaptorBlog, who I guess dilligently check their incoming links. I must admit, calling me "Guy Faguette" is a rock-solid argument and really shows me how much I erred in suggesting these blogs might not be the most professional.