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Google launches ‘The Matchup’ initiative for local sports news hubs

Google has launched a brand new initiative to help local sports fans get all of their news in one convenient, easy to access place with the launch of “The Matchup.”

This paid service follows a similar path to that of The Athletic, a premium subscription service for fans of particular teams and sporting events to get high-quality, in-depth information. The Matchup will let you read content from local news outlets covering your favorite team or opposition without needing to have a dedicated subscription to each individual news outlet.

Further functionality is expected to come to the service, with the Local Media Consortium confirming that pages will utilize Google’s super-quick AMP web technology to build out this added functionality.

The concept was born out of the notion that in order for local journalism to thrive, individual news organizations must lean into creating content and product experiences for our readers that is both unique and differentiated, and that we might need to collaborate with each other in the process. Sports is a huge user need and newspapers excel in that area—nobody covers the Dallas Cowboys (or Mavericks, Rangers or Stars) like The Dallas Morning News.

The same is true all over the country, but it is prohibitive to subscribe to fifty different sites to get that depth of coverage. In February we worked with NewsCatalyst to gather product leaders from a half-dozen media companies to hammer out designs and functionality for a product that would solve that problem.

Google The Matchup

A future update will integrate a dedicated sports news hub that will include a dashboard where you can track specific teams, leagues, contests, and even players that you would like to follow. So long as you have a subscription with one of the local news organizations that is participating in the initiative, you’ll be able to access content using The Matchup.

All sponsorships obtained via this new hub will also be shared out equally among the participating outlets. As a way to support local sports journalism — something this writer was heavily involved in for years — this is a fantastic way to get access to in-depth, high-quality content from those who have the greatest knowledge of local sports.

For more information on The Matchup from Google you can sign-up and submit inquiries here:

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Avatar for Damien Wilde Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter @iamdamienwilde. Email

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