by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
blogs, gothamist, paywalls


Cablevision Buying Blogs... Will It Lock Them Up Behind A Paywall Too?

from the strategery dept

While Cablevision may be fairly innovative in delivering broadband services, its foray into the content business has been a bit of a disaster. As you may recall, Cablevision bought the local newspaper, Newsday, two years ago. Going in to the deal, the company admitted that it didn't know much about the business, but planned to talk to newspaper experts. As we noted at the time, that seemed like a bad idea, because it was "newspaper experts" who were driving newspapers into the ground. True to form, Cablevision decided the best thing to do with Newsday was to spend $4 million redesigning and putting up a paywall that drove away some writers and convinced 35 people to sign up in its first three months. Yes, 35. Of course, Cablevision insisted that the goal was really about reducing churn by offering the newspaper website to Cablevision cable TV and broadband subscribers, but it still seems like a pretty big failure all around.

So it's a bit surprising to hear that Cablevision is apparently trying to expand in the content business by buying the blog network Gothamist, which has a series of city-focused local blogs. The deal is relatively cheap, but it makes you wonder what Cablevision is planning to do with that content. First of all, most of the blogs in the network cover cities where Cablevision has no presence at all. The only exception is Gothamist itself, which focuses on New York City -- even as Cablevision is more focused on neighboring Long Island. Is Cablevision now going to put up a paywall around the blogs to?

On the whole, it looks like Cablevision is just confused about the online content business, and buying some blogs doesn't seem likely to clear that up any time soon.

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