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ESPN to Intercept Dallas Sports Coverage?

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So says The New York Times on this morning's front page in advance of ESPN's Monday-morning announcement that it's this close to launching a Web site dedicated solely to Dallas sports. The Worldwide Leader's actually muscling into three markets after testing the product in Chicago, with Los Angeles and New York also on the short list, though the Dallas site's first up on the to-do list -- early fall, with the other two bowing next year. The Chicago Tribune's worried ("local sports turf battle"); The Los Angeles Times, less so ("I don't see them being able to replicate what we do"). Reps from The Dallas Morning News wouldn't comment.

ESPN's only hiring 15-ish for the new site while also trying to be hyperlocal -- as in, pick-up league-y. But there's also another concern for local media outlets: Jump on over to the Chicago site and you'll find Steve Levy hosting a three-minute-long Windy City SportsCenter. ESPN's digital chief tells the local network affiliates not to worry; no word on how he said it. Word is ESPN has a some kind of a radio station in Dallas too? You say so.

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