As the stock market continues its plunge so do the web sites affiliated with Temple athletics.
Both Owlscoop.com and Owlsports.com received major setbacks this week when their hosts shut or prepared to shutdown their hard drives.
Owlscoop.com, hosted by Rivals.com, is an independent web site run by Owlsoop publisher Shawn Pastor. Speculation has been mounting on the web site’s message boards, a popular place for Temple fans and alumni to talk about athletics, that the site would close its doors.
A former worker at Rivals is attempting to buy the web site and keep school sites like Owlscoop up and running, according to Pastor.
“If (they) can get the investment money, they can probably make it work,” Pastor said. “I think at this point they have to start charging for sites.”
According to Pastor, Rival’s current business structure centered on advertisement-based revenue. As technology stocks have plummeted and web sites continue to crumble, so did the advertising. Pastor said that he is getting 10 times the viewers on the site recently compared to a tenth of the revenue.
Alumni, supporters and non-supporters alike have flocked to Owlscoop.com for information on the football program’s pending release from the Big East.
Some Rivals sites have been charging a yearly fee to users, according to Pastor, he doesn’t know if it would work for his site.
“I don’t know if there’s enough people,” he said, “for it (to) provide the revenue so on my part it’s worth my time.”
Up until a few months ago, Pastor was providing more stories on the site including press conference transcripts for football and basketball. But as the revenue started to go down so did the content. But the message boards still drew a large share of people.
Owlsports.com, the official athletics page of Temple athletics, lost its service provider as well. The athletic department contracted Total Sports, Inc. to maintain the site with daily updates and stats.
On Monday, the site issued a statement that Total Sports had ceased operations “due to financial considerations.”
“We knew they were going under it was just a matter of time,” said an athletics department spokesman. “We don’t know right now, we’re probably just going to find another company.”
Total Sports was under contract to about 100 other schools to maintain their sports web sites. Until they find a new provider, the athletic department has had to send all their stats out via fax.