Premier League clips win will prompt The Sun to go behind paywall
If there was ever a question whether The Sun website would go behind a paywall, like sister title The Times, then News Internationals’ scooping of the Premier League football mobile and internet highlights has surely put this to bed.
Quite simply this is a now a no-brainer for New International: it will happen.
The publisher has reached a three-year deal with the Premier League to show highlight clips on the internet and mobile devices of its newspaper brands from August, including The Sun.
The deal is reported by worth more than £20m, according to sources.
News International is replacing Yahoo! and ESPN, which previously held the internet and mobile rights.
Now that NI has this collateral of the Premier League rights, it will have no hesitation in slinging up the paywall.
Previously, the argument against erecting The Sun paywall was always that it would lose a lot of revenue from advertising, simply because not many people would pay for the privilege of reading The Sun online thus advertisters wouldn’t support it.
Unlike The Times-whose long-form content lends itself to a paid-for online model- The Sun is a tabloid, ten-minute read at best, much of whose content can be seen elsewhere on gossipy websites and such.
Now this has all changed and punters have the carott of near-live clips of Premier League football matches as a reason to fork out for a yearly subscription for The Sun.
Crucially, these highlights will be available to punters before Match of the Day, for many people their first chance to see the day’s action.
News International has already said it will embed the content into the Times and Sunday Times websites, along with the Sun’s planned tablet app.
Surely, it makes sense now to carry out the same strategy for the paid-for Sun website, particularly as their is a furious drive at News International to drive up revenues at the profit-making Sun and loss-making Times this year.
Journalists on The Sun will no doubt be annoyed their words will no longer be free for all to see on the web, but that is just a reality of today.