EPL Talk reported in April that the days of free articles on the Times were soon coming to an end. It now seems as if the Times have taken the first big step in keeping good on their promise by closing it’s online website, timesonline.co.uk, last Tuesday. For me, the move seems slightly odd considering the Times could loose substantial online viewership during the next month as the World Cup continues to be played out in South Africa.
The new (soon to be pay) site, thetimes.co.uk is now up and running with a different look and feel. Readers who have a registered account with the Times can still view articles without paying, but only for a short period of time until the site becomes fully closed to non-paying viewers in the near future. If you’re a fan of some of the great writers on the Times and have decided you’ll not pay for content, it seems now is the beginning of the end of your love affair with the Times.
The move will of course affect readers moving forward after the World Cup is over as well as throughout the next few weeks. Again, it just seems slightly odd that the Times would start limiting how many people can access their content during such a huge month for online traffic. The Times features some of the best writers and personalities in football including Patrick Barclay, Oliver Kay and Gabriele Marcotti, to name a few. I’m also quite interested in seeing how the site will look once the pay wall is implemented and just really how much extra bonus content paying customers will receive. Will the Times really be able to out slug their competitors in the UK?
Will the Times allow football fans who aren’t paying for the service any contenet at all? Will other online news sources follow in the Times footsteps? Also, what of the Times bad timing in pulling their site down in the middle of a World Cup? Make sure to check back with EPL Talk for all the latest news and a full review of the new pay wall when it goes live.