By Steven Downes
Reuters, in a marked departure from its usual operation of providing media subscribers with news, share prices and sports reports, has placed its football content freely on the web.
Reuters.co.uk/football offers coverage of all English and Scottish football, including match reports and transfer news, plus coverage from the agency’s network of international correspondents for the latest from Europe and the rest of the world.
â€œThis site will bring together the reliable and authoritative reporting of Reuters specialist football correspondents and enable football fans to enjoy a wealth of information that should satisfy even the most avid of supporters,â€ said Paul Radford, Reuters sports editor.
The website does, though, raise the question: “Why?” The website is clean of any paid-for advertising (at least initially), and certainly will not do anything to improve the agency’s subscription pick-up, although much of the site’s content appears to be an abbreviated version of Reuters usual agency takes. It appears to put Reuters into direct competition with the live sports news sites already offered by the BBC, Telegraph, Times and other newspaper groups.
But where it all fits in with the company’s rigorous commercial performance plans, which has seen serial redundancies over the past seven years or so, is unclear.
The site uses photography from Reuters and Action Images. It will also feature football news feeds from publishers, web portals, bloggers and companies across the internet with a news aggregator which displays the latest stories on, for instance, each of the Premier League clubs, culled from around the web, with a neat time and source tag.
The site also seeks to grasp the web zeitgeist with a series of blogs from Reuters correspondents around the world – though most appear to lack the sassy attitude and link-rich aspects of the wilder elements of the web, and in fact resemble the more conventional comment columns passed off as blogs on the BBC website.
Reuters sport portal also provides access to much of the agency’s coverage of other sports, including cricket, golf and tennis.
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