Alabama paper launches paid site for Crimson Tide sports

Found this story by Joer Strupp at Editor & Publisher. This strikes me as a very smart move for a newspaper. I can see Alabama fans paying for this kind of niche content.

NEW YORK The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News is the latest to launch a new paid Web site for its newspaper, announcing the creation of a new site devoted to University of Alabama athletics.

The daily paper, owned by The New York Times Company, will charge $10 per month or $59.95 per year for access to the TidesSportsExtra.com site, according to a release. It will be separate from the paper’s main Web page, which remains free.

“The site will offer in-depth coverage of University of Alabama athletics, including specialized blogs, forums, user profiles and video,” an announcement stated.

Added Chris Rattey, the News’ director of new media: “TideSportsExtra provides University of Alabama fans with content they cannot get anywhere else. With photos, blogs, video and extensive coverage, the site will offer an unparalleled fan experience.”

Among the paid-only items on the site will be columnist Cecil Hurt’s new blog, along with his columns and Internet talk show. “In addition to experiencing richer content, Web site users will be able to engage and participate more easily with comments, photos and videos, creating a deeper online community,” the announcement added.

The announcement comes one day after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette launched PG+, a new paid site that offers additional blogging, discussion and community interaction online.

The company I work for has the marketing rights for the University of Alabama.

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