Subscribers to internet broadband providers Freeserve and BlueYonder will be able to get the top eight BBC news stories on demand as the corporation has developed its first mass-appeal broadband content. Users will also be able to access the BBC ‘s One O’Clock, Six O’Clock and Ten O’Clock News whenever they want after broadcast. Some internet providers feel the BBC should have offered the service to more than two but the corporation is planning to team up with other broadband providers to offer this service. Last year, the BBC was criticised after offering its news content to Yahoo! as part of a trial distribution deal to the exclusion of others. Unlike other content that appears on Yahoo!, the BBC deal stipulated that no advertising should appear on any pages where BBC copy appears.
Earlier this month the FT announced plans to charge for content and now The Times is looking to develop more paid-for services for its website (see story, left). Paid-for content is the future but you also need to reward your print purchasers for buying the paper. It will be interesting to see what pricing models will emerge and whether there will be the promised added-value content that newspapers will need to deliver if they persuade people to pay for the online editions. This will mean boosting their coverage as paying subscribers won’t tolerate sites who only update via a PA breaking feed. Maybe, after all the cuts in editorial over the past 12 months, more journalists could be employed by online divisions of newspapers.
Meanwhile, the BBC has brought in spoon bender and author Uri Geller to test whether extra-sensory perception can work over the internet, using BBC Wales’s website (www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northeast). Until March 24,Geller will be inviting people to join him via their computers and take part in a number of tasks including fixi§ng broken watches and of course, bending spoons.
The Press Association’s PA Sport has enhanced its range of football services for websites and mobile services. Football 24 will offer news, previews and reports covering all clubs in the top four divisions in England, the Scottish leagues and the Nationwide Conference. PA says it will offer up to 2,000 stories a week to those subscribing to the service which PA says will be "guaranteed factual news, not speculation". "We believe we offer the most authoritative and complete package of digital football content around," says editorial director Andy Elliott.