News International launches paid-for Times sites

LONDON, May 25 (BestGrowthStock) – News Corp’s (NWSA.O: ) News
International launched new paid-for websites for the Times of
London and the Sunday Times on Tuesday, the first major consumer
newspapers to charge readers for online access.

The sites will be free for the first eight weeks for users
who register. After that, readers will be charged 1 pound
($1.44) per day or 2 pounds per week for both titles.

Seven-day subscriptions to the print versions will include
access to the websites — www.thetimes.co.uk and
www.thesundaytimes.co.uk — which replace the previous single
Times Online site for both titles.

News Corp’s Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has championed
the cause of charging for news online, which consumers have
become used to reading for free, helped by search services like
Google News (GOOG.O: ), which has contributed to a fall in
newspapers’ revenues.

His Wall Street Journal, along with rival business daily the
Financial Times, owned by Pearson (PSON.L: ), both already charge
for online access. The New York Times (NYT.N: ) plans to start
charging for access to its website next year.

The new Times and Sunday Times websites include extra
content like video — some from BSkyB (BSY.L: ), in which News
Corp has a 40 percent stake — and a tool that allows readers to
move directly to book tickets from reviews of cultural events.

“We will continue to add new features to ensure that the
innovation that has been central to The Times for 225 years
continues into the future,” James Harding, editor of The Times,
said in a statement.

Investment Advice
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan, editing by Will Waterman)
($1=.6951 Pound)

News International launches paid-for Times sites