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ESPN sets date for L.A. web launch

Cable network continues West Coast push

ESPN’s website, following major pushes into Chicago and Boston, is finally making a run at Los Angeles.

Net’s topper George Bodenheimer announced ESPN.com, set to cover all things sportswise in L.A., will launch Dec. 21.

Move indicates that newspapers, such as the L.A. Times, will see strong competition when it comes to readers looking for insight into the local sports scene. Advertisers, as well, may consider moving from print to online to capture fans’ attention.

Originally, the L.A. version of the site was to begin in first quarter 2010, but Bodenheimer announced the early start while speaking at a media summit in New York.

ESPN has made a major push into Los Angeles as of late. Net recently began production of signature series “SportsCenter” in downtown L.A., adjacent to the Staples Center, and, for the first time this season, ESPN radio (710-AM) broadcasts all Lakers game.

The Chicago site drew 1.1 million unique users in October, up 20% from September.

More than 22 million unique visitors visit ESPN.com per month.

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