Huffington Post UK, which had 5.4 million unique views in January, is launching a sports section
Huffington Post UK is today launching a sports section of the site, eight months after the UK edition of the AOL-owned site went live.
"We want to offer a really broad range of news and entertainment on the site and sport has been the one thing that's missing to this point," Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of HuffPo UK told Journalism.co.uk.
The sports section – called Huffington Post UK Sport – is "going to be very much about the fans' opinions and we are hoping that after big matches people pile on, blog for us and leave comments on what's been happening", Buzasi said.
Buzasi anticipates a discussion around major sports such as football and rugby, plus more niche sports and those that form part of the London 2012 Olympics.
"We're really hoping we'll get people with a vast range of passions", whether for darts, synchronised swimming or hurling, Buzasi said.
The editor-in-chief suggested she would be blogging about beach volleyball after she attends the Olympic event.
The sports section of the site will be headed up by sports reporter Samuel Luckhurst.
"Samuel will be doing news stories, a few reports here and there but very much this is about the fans and their opinions on what's going on in whatever sport they feel passionate about," Buzasi said, explaining that bloggers who contribute are likely to be fans "in the stands watching rather than journalists on the ground".
HuffPo UK has been pushing out sport on Facebook and Twitter in preparation for the launch and as "that's the best place to get new users and to ensure that regular users are interacting".
The Huffington Post, bought by AOL last year for £195 million, does not pay its global network of bloggers.
The UK site, which launched with 300 bloggers, has expanded to 2,500 contributors.
Reflecting on the past eight months, Buzasi said: "We're so pleased with how the site is going, the brand's reputation is growing."
"Engagement is really increasing as well", with 8,000 comments in a day a fortnight ago.
The Huffington Post had 55.4 million unique views in January, according to comScore figures quoted by Buzasi. Of those 5.4 million were unique views to HuffingtonPost.co.uk, 3.3 million of which came from readers based in the UK.
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