In case you haven't noticed — which means you never regularly visited Foxsports.com in the first place — the website for one of the biggest players in sports is now video-only.
This is not a mistake (or rather, this is not a technical glitch). This is a deliberate effort after Fox Sports concluded that writers just weren't making the site any money or generating enough eyeballs. It's a concession to the fact that ESPN and others do that sort of content better, and Fox is hardly alone among websites in putting more emphasis on video.
The news has been out for a few weeks, and the site has been full speed ahead with video lately. You will not find a single written word at Foxsports.com beyond headlines or summaries describing the videos.
The move has frustrated at least a few employees, and understandably so. Ken Rosenthal, who reports on baseball for Fox, wrote on Twitter recently, "Foxsports.com has gone all video. That is why I no longer can write on our site." He has instead started writing things he would have normally written for Foxsports.com on Facebook, of all places.
Consumers who similarly value the written word — or those who want a larger swath of sports coverage from a sports site — might also be frustrated by the new version of the website. During a sample check Friday, out of the top 12 videos (bear in mind there is some crossover between videos):
• Half were related in some way to the upcoming fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
• Eight involved Fox personalities talking, several of which were clips from Fox sports shows that could use a ratings boost.
• Three involved actual sports highlights — two Gold Cup soccer highlights and one U.S. Women's Open highlight, with both events airing on Fox properties.
Outside of references to Lonzo Ball and Aaron Judge in those top 12 videos, the NBA and MLB might as well not exist. The NHL? Nah.
ESPN.com has plenty of videos, too … but they're interspersed with breaking news and written analysis — the kinds of "talkers" that draw someone to a website (where they then might watch a video). It's just hard to imagine going to Foxsports.com as a destination to only find videos of people talking about things, none of which appear to be any kind of news — particularly during the day when a person is at work.
That said, it could very well prove to be a more viable product for the bottom line because it seems exceedingly cheap to produce while any clicks on those videos will generate revenue.
This is also an incredibly slow time of the sports year in terms of live events. My guess is they made the switch now to work out the kinks, with the potential for more interesting video content more likely once the NFL season is in full swing.
It will be worth checking back in a couple of months to see if anything has changed, but it's doubtful there will be a return visit until then.