Apple News+ Adds The Athletic, but NYT Articles Remain Unavailable

Todd Spangler, reporting last week for Variety:

The New York Times Co. inked a deal with Apple to add The Athletic’s full sports coverage to the Apple News+ subscription bundle. In addition, the Times’ Wirecutter product reviews will be available for free to all Apple News users beginning early next year.

However, articles from the New York Times Co.’s namesake newspaper remain unavailable in the tech giant’s popular Apple News app. The NYT Co. ended its partnership to provide articles from the Times to Apple News in 2020, saying at the time that the Apple News model did not fit with the company’s need for “a direct path” from digital platforms for sending “readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers and the nature of our business rules.” [...]

The Athletic has more than 450 full-time writers, editors and producers. The outlet covers hundreds of professional and college teams across sports leagues globally. That includes the NFL, NBA, WNBA, MLB, NHL, MLS, English Premier League, PGA, National Women’s Soccer League, NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision, NCAA men’s college basketball, NCAA women’s college basketball, LaLiga and UEFA Champions League.

I’ve been subscribed to The Athletic for years, and now get it bundled with my Times subscription. It’s both good and, as the third paragraph quoted above indicates, broad — they have beat writers for all major teams. Adding it to News+ is a major upgrade to News+’s sports coverage. There’s nothing else quite like The Athletic.

It does seem curious, though, that the Times considers it worthwhile to bundle The Athletic (and also Wirecutter — which, unlike The Athletic, stinks) with News+ but not content from the Times itself. Also worth mentioning that the Times closed its own sports desk last year, and now relies upon The Athletic for all sports coverage.

Wednesday, 27 December 2023