Alex Mena, Sports Editor of The Miami Herald tweeted yesterday that the paper has been inundated with requests for a sports-only subscription plan. So beginning yesterday, that is exactly what it made available to South Florida sports fans.
Many of you have asked for a sports-only digital subscription … the Miami Herald heard you loud and clear. For $30 a year or about $0.08 cents a day you can read unlimited Dolphins and Hurricanes news. Plus all the other Miami sports. Sign up today. https://t.co/phq89wgMLB
— Alex Mena (@alexmenamiami) August 9, 2018
It is clearly a sign that The Athletic is having an effect on local newsrooms. Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing writes that digital sports-only subscriptions make sense for newspapers trying to figure out their future in an ever-increasingly on-deman world.
This may be a revolutionary idea that can actually help the newspaper industry and maintain readership in the transition to the digital age. Offering a new way to engage potential customers certainly can’t be a bad thing for the newspaper industry. The best parallel may be to the changes we’ve seen in the League Pass services over the past couple of years where MLB, the NBA, and others have offered packages for just one team instead of making fans pay for the entire league.
We live in an a la carte world now where sports fans can watch highlights on YouTube, check news on Twitter, and follow their favorite athletes on Instagram. A digital-only sports subscription just makes sense for local papers as a way to keep pace in the modern age. Whether it’s enough to stave off the advances of The Athletic or gain back readers remains to be seen, but at least it’s a start at trying something new.
The $30 annual price tag is cheaper than either the month-to-month Athletic plan, which is $9.95 per month, or the yearly plan, which charges $3.95 per month. Miami is one of the cities where The Athletic is currently lacking local coverage.