Yes, ESPN has regional hubs, too. And yes, ESPN gives you like a four-minute localized SportsCenter each day. But I think these SB Nation hubs have a few advantages of their own.
One, there will be twenty of them launched by July 1st, the previous six plus Houston, Dallas - Ft. Worth, Kansas City, St. Louis, Minnesota, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, and the Bay Area.
[Note to Mr. CEO man, Jim Bankoff: where is SBN-Western New York? Here in Rochester we're the top minor league sports town in the country, and Buffalo has 1.5 major league teams. Tampa Bay isn't even a city, and the Tampa-St. Pete sports teams have fewer fans than my local championship indoor lacrosse team -- Go Knighthawks!]
Two, with content provided by 250 blogs, there is never a shortage of quality content.
Three, each hub has a mini-blog within the hub, with original takes on current events and yellow journalistic videos. There will be original features, to
Four, SBN tends to have quality communities with quality discussion, while ESPN has, well, "omfg ur an idit, Neyer, go back behnd teh pay wall."
Five, StoryStreams. Newspapers had news cycles, but the internet can consistently add to the stream of content addressing a popular topic. Related blog posts and links to non-SBN sources are organized in StoryStreams, making it easy to follow the progression from "Strasburg's the new Gooden" to "let's temper our expectations" to "holy crap he's got a lot of strikeouts" to "Strasburg's way better than Gooden." Try this one with 41 entries on the MLB Draft.
Six, the more popular SBNation grows, the better chance that I and the rest of the BtB crew can get filthy rich. I am in favor of growing filthy rich.