Having acquired mobile and Internet highlights rights for English Premier League football for £30 million, Rupert Murdoch’s News International is to introduce a paywall for access to its Sun daily newspaper online content from August, in time for the 2013-14 season.
The move means that all publisher News International’s UK titles have paywall-protected content, with the UK newspaper arm of News Corp already charging readers to access the Sunday Times and the Times online. Readers of The Sun will be charged £2 a week for online access, with the Sun+ offering additional benefits such as offers and promotions as well as match highlights of Premier League football.
Mike Darcey, chief executive of News International, told media buyers that there was no bigger single online media opportunity in England than the Premier League. “It’s hard to overstate the value of this content. We did not buy mobile and Internet rights in order to sell mobile and internet rights. We bought them to integrate into an existing product and enhance that existing product,” he advised.