The Sun, the UK’s best-selling tabloid newspaper, will be going behind a paywall from August 1 this year for £2 ($3 USD) a week.
The new service will apparently be called ‘Sun+’, serving up online access via the Web and mobile apps. While some may have questioned the wisdom of a tabloid switching to a paid digital model, The Sun’s publisher NI Group (formerly News International) is dangling a large carrot in front of potential subscribers in the form of access to highlights for all 380 English Premier League games from next season. It won exclusive rights to the mobile and online clips back in January this year.
Indeed, it seems these Premier League rights could prove pivotal for The Sun’s move into the subscription realm, having shelled out £30m ($45m) for the privilege.
It’s not entirely clear how The Sun will offer the clips, but it will likely be similar to what was offered by previous incumbents Yahoo and ESPN, which had the online (Web) and mobile coverage divided between them. Essentially, goals from each game can be broadcast just after they’re scored, with short highlights made available later.
The Sun is the UK’s biggest selling daily newspaper, and with it disappearing behind a paywall, this now means that all NI Group’s UK titles, including The Times and Sunday Times, will have some form of paywall in place. It’s not yet clear whether The Sun will operate a metered paywall, offering limited access for free, but by streaming EPL goals in near real-time, it does become a slightly better proposition.
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