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Published: Friday, 2/14/2014 - Updated: 10 months ago

The Blade, BCSN join forces on local, interactive Web site

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
The Blade’s Web site will serve as the portal for BCSN.tv. The combined site will have a heavy emphasis on high schools. The Blade’s Web site will serve as the portal for BCSN.tv. The combined site will have a heavy emphasis on high schools.
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The Blade and Buckeye Cable Sports Network this week have teamed up to launch a Web site that will be the premier sports information destination for fans in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.

Toledoblade.com will serve as a portal for BCSN.tv, which will host content from The Blade for local high schools, colleges, and professional teams. There will be an enhanced statistics package available that will include daily schedules and more categories for sports content. BCSN will provide videos from its wide coverage area.

“The desire was to develop the best sports site for sports fans in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, with two brands coming together,” said Brad Vriezelaar, The Blade’s director of new media. “It’s bringing together The Blade’s quality of content and BCSN’s work over 10 years. The natural place for that convergence was to happen online.”

A few days before the official launch of BCSN.tv, the site posted a poll asking readers to vote for its winter coach of the year.

The poll gave readers the option of picking one of five winter sports coaches to earn the honor, and it was part of the soft launch of BCSN.tv. The poll question received more than 20,000 responses and provided a first glimpse of the site.

The first poll question served as an informal introduction to the new Web site, which officially launched Monday and will serve as a Web portal for The Blade’s sports section and for Buckeye Cable Sports Network.

“Just by doing this one poll, to pick a coach of the year, it said a lot,” said Steve Piller, BCSN’s vice president of local stations. “We may get 3,000 responses, normally, on a poll like this, but to get 20,000, it shows how responsive the community is.

“We’ve had sports coverage and videos of sports, but this brings both together. It gives the community a platform to know everything about their team, whether it’s the earned-run average of a baseball player or the number of goals for a hockey player.”

BCSN.tv will also have an interactive facet to it.

“It will have videos, replays, and highlights of all the teams covered by BCSN,” Vriezelaar said. “Schools themselves can upload videos of their own, and there’s also the ability for communities to manage their own sites for community sports.

“It’s not just a sports news site. It’s a sports site.”

Piller said convergence between The Blade and BCSN is the goal of the site.

“Our goal is to provide the kind of information that will grow out of the current sports page. If we’re covering a story about a running back from Ohio State, our vision is that we’ll still get an article written, and we would grab a video element and on the nightly live BCSN broadcast [Sports Nightly], we’d say ‘tomorrow morning, read the story about the running back in The Blade’s sports section,’ and a video would be attached online with the story.”

BCSN and The Blade are owned by Block Communications, Inc.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.



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