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Washington Post Considering Sports Subscription Plan

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There is no denying the impact The Athletic is having on sports journalism. The company keeps hiring great writers. It has the investors necessary to sustain itself, and they are willing to spend the necessary money to be everywhere major sports are played.

A profile in the New York Times made it clear where The Athletic stands on its local site model and who it sees as the competition.

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in an interview in San Francisco.“We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”

Well, it looks like The Washington Post isn’t going to wait for The Athletic to come to town and then react. A tweet from DDA Marketing revealed that The Post is willing to play The Athletic‘s game. The paper is considering launching a subscription service for sports coverage.


It will be interesting to see how The Washington Post decides to proceed with this model. An all-DC sports site seems like the most realistic option, but perhaps a specialty service that focuses exclusively on say the Redskins or the Stanley Cup champion Capitals could make the same amount profit while utilizing fewer resources.

Sean Keely of Awful Announcing says until we know for sure what The Washington Post’s subscription service looks like, it will be hard to know the demand for it. He also says this might actually be a good thing for The Athletic.

At first glance, it’s very unclear exactly what this subscription-based product looks like and if it provides enough value to make readers want to sign up. Some of these potential offerings, such as aggregated social feeds, newsletters, and breaking news alerts, aren’t exactly unique and can be acquired for free in multiple places. However, the value would be in getting exclusive content from WaPo reporters, writers, and experts, which is likely where their main selling points would be. If regular readers were suddenly unable to read post-game analysis from their favorites unless they paid $5.99/month (or whatever the number is), that might be the kind of thing that feels worthwhile.

As for the overall impact of a major news brand like the WaPo leaning into subscription-only content, that remains to be seen. However, it could end up legitimizing The Athletic in a major way. It could be a signal to the industry and consumers that this is the way of the future for sports content and not only is The Athletic right, but they were the ones who saw it first.

Lost in all of this is the fact that Washington, DC already has a sports subscription service started by three local writers last year. It’s called Sports Capitol and charges $5.99 per month.

Sports Online

PodcastOne Expands Sports Offerings, Adds Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to Lineup

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

Jordan Bondurant

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PodcastOne

PodcastOne is growing its lineup of sports show offerings by adding podcasts from a World Series champion, NBA champion and a former NFL running back.

The company announced it has brought on Nick Swisher, Bobby Portis and Chris Howard to add to its already stacked slate of programming that includes shows from Robert Horry, Michael Irvin, Jay Cutler and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

“With the growing PodcastOne sports vertical, we are producing and developing exclusive sports content shows from some of the most recognizable names in the game, adding to our diverse roster of original programming that advertisers and listeners won’t get from other networks,” said PodcastOne president Kit Gray. “Our sports hosted shows offer something for everyone, from the parquet floors of the world of basketball to the spectacle of the wrestling ring.”

Swisher, who will host The Nick Swisher Show, expressed his excitement at the opportunity to tell stories and interview stars from the world of sports and culture.

“My curiosity for the world around me from baseball to books, from coaches to community and from inspirational stories of triumph to seemingly insurmountable moments of failure knows no bounds,” Swisher said. “I’m amped to be sharing stories with fans and listeners, and I’m so excited to partner with PodcastOne to bring my podcast to life.”

Current Milwaukee Bucks forward Bobby Portis will roll out a weekly show called Keep It A Buck where he’ll offer an inside look at the week that was in the NBA while interviewing current and former players.

Howard’s show, Plugged In with Chris Howard, will take a look at some of the biggest headlines in the NFL and get to the bottom of those stories. He’ll also interview athletes and other stars from the world of entertainment to give listeners plenty of behind-the-scenes scoops.

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Amazon’s Thursday Night Football Ratings Up In Week 4

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers.

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Bengals-Dolphins
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Amazon Prime Video is the first to tout its NFL success in Week 4 of the season. The week’s first game, the Thursday Night Football matchup between the Miami-Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, averaged 11.7 million viewers.

That figure represents growth from last week’s Steeler-Browns game which averaged 11.03 million viewers. That number also represents a massive increase over last year’s Week 3 game from last year (Jaguars-Bengals) which averaged 8 million viewers. That game aired on the NFL Network.

Amazon also noted that the streaming service gathered 13.4 million viewers across all platforms for the Thursday night game.

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Julian Edelman Considers Himself A Pioneer

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that.”

Ricky Keeler

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Since his playing days with the New England Patriots ended after the 2020 season, Julian Edelman has kept himself busy with his role on Inside the NFL and now co-hosting the Games with Names podcast with comedian Sam Morril. So, what was Edelman looking for with his post-football endeavors?

Edelman was a guest on the most-recent episode of the Half-Forgotten History podcast with Trey Wingo and he said that the vibe that Inside The NFL has with Phil Simms, James Brown, Brandon Marshall, Michael Irvin, and Ray Lewis was something that he was looking for.

“With Inside the NFL, I have those guys and there’s a camaraderie. We get to have that breaking bread and just locker room kind of vibe. On the podcast, it’s the same thing.”

The MVP of Super Bowl XLIII mentioned that the key to doing the things he does now in his post-career came from the way him and his team were able to use social media to build his own brand and help ease the transition from a playing career to a member of the media.

“When I retired, I was fortunate enough to put a good team around me for all of my off-the-field things. We built a brand through social media. Kind of pioneers of this whole thing with social and e-commerce and millennial/Gen-Z things. It helped me land a role on Inside the NFL and go and have an ability to start a podcast, Games With Names. It’s been good and it honestly helps with the transition.”

Now that Edelman’s playing days are in the past, he said that he now has the opportunity to do things that he was always interested in since he was a kid, but did not have the time for and he is grateful for the opportunities that the NFL has allowed him to have.

“I’ve been a football player since I was 8 years old, but I did have other interests. Now that I am done, I get to explore that. I am so grateful for football and for the game just because it has given me the opportunity to do things that are fun and amazing.”

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