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Sporting News Today no longer free

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TheHacker, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    Anybody see this?


    Good for them. They were giving it away for free. People should pay for content if they want it. Now the question is whether anyone will pay for this. They're adding a bunch of new content to it, like video, etc., and letting you check it out free for 60 days before charging you. I've been getting it since they rolled it out. Most days I probably don't read it. It's not bad when I need a time killer, but it's a ton of wire copy and info I can get elsewhere. Will I pay $2.99 a month for that? No.
  2. mythirdalt

    mythirdalt Member

    I get it everyday in my email and I think I've read it once. It's a fair price at $2.99 a month, but considering that few people read it when it was free, this might be the latest experiment gone wrong for Sporting News.
  3. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    The product itself is pretty damn good. Some quality people are working there. I hope it works out.
  4. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    I was excited to see the new improvements. So far, all I've seen a smaller product with no video/photo galleries.
  5. mythirdalt

    mythirdalt Member

    Too much free product out there, that's the problem. It's unfortunate, 'cause you're right, they do have quality writers.
  6. apseloser

    apseloser Member

    I don't work there but the smartest, most creative journalist I've ever worked with does, and if I were him — he doesn't usually post here — I'd find mythirdalt and smack him around.

    His crack about "few people read it when it was free" shows how ignorant he is. For one, how do you know how many people read it? I do — their circulation is higher than the San Francisco Chronicle's 251K, for what that's worth.

    Know of what you speak, mythirdalt, so you don't keep embarrassing yourself.
  7. sammyd

    sammyd New Member

    I'm with Loser (for once). Nothing worst than a know it all who knows nothing.

    Rather than critique others' strategies, worry about your own. If you're working for a newspaper, as I am, you have your own problems. I just judged APSE and was stunned at (understandably, due to resources) awful section entries. I'm talking optionals here, not mandatory. I didn't judge them all but saw the big boy category and the two circulation rungs below that. There were maybe 3 papers who would have been top 10 3 years ago. And I'm talking 3 papers out of all 3 batches.

    And no, my newspaper was not 1 of the 3.

    For my 2 cents, TSN has a kick-butt 1-2 punch in the magazine and their Today product. Look at the magazine if you haven't and see how much work must got into putting that out — compared to an ESPN. They don't have a Jones but that doesn't seem to be their mission, to tell long stories. They're really good at what they do and I'd leave a pretty good job at a pretty good company for TSN in a second ... if they'd hire me.
  8. TheHacker

    TheHacker Member

    I agree, the magazine -- which I subscribe to -- is very good since they went from weekly to the twice-a-month format. I look forward to getting it every two weeks, which I really never did when I subscribed to ESPN mag.

    I like TSN Today, and I think it's a quality product, but it just doesn't feel like a must-read every day. It'll be interesting to see how many paid subscribers they actually get for it -- they're breaking new ground, so it's an experiment. I'm sort of pulling for them, but I just don't see a lot of people paying for it.
  9. apseloser

    apseloser Member

    My guy there tells me if they can keep 3 out of every 10 readers, they'll be in great shape.

    That doesn't seem like asking the impossible.
  10. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    The problem is that even though its a good product, it's still lagging in third place behind ESPN.Com and SI.Com with Yahoo.com biting hard on its ass.
  11. lantaur

    lantaur Well-Known Member

    From a recent survey from Project for Excellence in Journalism:
    "About 35 percent of online news consumers said they have a favorite site that they check each day. The others are essentially free agents, the project said. Even among those who have their favorites, only 19 percent said they would be willing to pay for news online — including those who already do."

    So, yeah, if they can get 3 out of 10 to subscribe, not only would they be in great shape, but they'd also be greatly surpassing the expected.

    (Of course, a Harris poll in September 2009 said that only 5% of people would pay for news online, but I'm basing it more on the above number since Sporting News Today perhaps could be considered a "favorite.")

    I subscribed early on, browsed it the first couple of weeks then have hit the delete button in my inbox every day since.
  12. I do, too ... but I have no idea why. There are a ton of neat features/nuggets, but so much of the magazine is written by athletes/coaches/execs/etc. And too often that approach merely breeds a lot of talking w/out actually saying anything. The most recent mag, for example, w/ the Jeter interview. I usually love those long interviews, but my God, that's 10 minutes of my life I'm never getting back. I understand the idea of trying to bring readers even closer to the athletes and action, but a lot of the content fails in that regard. Too much coach-speak, cliches and rehearsed responses.

    I'd rather read an insider's recollection/perception of an athlete or event — something candid and real.

    I do like the magazine, but much of it is too predictable. Stronger than before, though, and much different than its competition.
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