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Apple Adds The Athletic to Apple News+

Apple writes:

Apple and The Athletic today announced that Apple News+ subscribers now have access to The Athletic’s unrivaled sports journalism. The Athletic provides best-in-class team coverage, as well as coverage of the biggest and most compelling stories in sports daily, across the major sports leagues.

The addition of the subscriber-only sports coverage from The Athletic might make Apple News+ a bit more compelling—less than 20% of TidBITS readers use it (see “Do You Use It? Apple Services See Widely Varying Popularity,” 4 December 2023). It won’t move the needle for me, however, given that The Athletic doesn’t seem to include track & field coverage of the Diamond League meets, world cross-country competitions, or much of anything related to running beyond the occasional major marathon.

The Athletic in Apple News+

Perhaps more interesting was the additional announcement that content from Wirecutter, also published by The New York Times Company, will be included for all Apple News users starting early next year.

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Comments About Apple Adds The Athletic to Apple News+

Notable Replies

  1. Was hoping this would allow me to cancel my subscription to The Athletic, but it seems to be missing an awful lot of content and no way to search that I can see.

  2. Well, maybe. But it’s also included in my NYTimes subscription and the writing ranges from really good to really awful. I believe the Times really doesn’t know what to do with it. They phased out their own sports department this fall, and the stories they’re promoting on their Web site are the clickbait scandal reports rather than anything to do with matches, events, contests, or teams. Maybe it will be a better look in Apple News.

  3. I’m waiting for The Wirecutter. By the way, is this the complete Athletic and Wirecutter sites, or are these for people who already have subscriptions?

  4. My guess is that the NYT spent about half a billion dollars to buy The Athletic, and they’re probably not getting much, if any, revenue growth in their sports coverage. And there’s sports coverage from a big number of print, digital, television and radio sports news, both locally and US nationally. The competition is extremely fierce.

    And the NYT recently latched on to Apple’s sports news sector although the NYT unceremoniously turned its back on them not long ago. This seems to me that the NYT is rather desperate for sports and sports adverting revenue and Apple might not want to keep the NYT Sports in their ball parks in the US and abroad:

    Follow your favorite teams with My Sports on iPhone - Apple Support.

  5. There will be two options. Either a stand alone subscription to the Athletic, or a package with The complete NY Times. The Wirecutter will remain in the Times’ own ballpark.

    Here’s the scoop from the NYT about subscriptions and pricing:

    What I think is very interesting is that I’ve read that the NYT has fired just about all of their own unionized sports desk reporters who tend to earn higher pay than the non unionized Athletic reporters. It looks like there maybe will be a major internal boxing match between NYT Sports and Athletic journalists.

  6. I’m already a subscriber to The Athletic - so will be interested to see if they’ll be adding ALL their content to Apple News+ (or at least the content I’m interested in) and making it easy enough to find there, or whether it’ll all be lost in a mishmash of content with inconsistent coverage of the topics I follow. I’m a bit skeptical. I also like The Athletic’s newsletters and app, which I assumed won’t be available to me if I just go with Apple News +.

    I also looked at the cost of just subscribing to the NYT to get The Athletic, their news coverage, and more - but found $325/year after the first 6 months to be a bit steep. (For comparison and reference, The Washington Post is currently $120/year, and The Athletic itself is $59.99/year.)

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