Redskins.com takes a shot at The Post’s coming paywall


By Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post.

 

Maybe you heard the news about the WaPo paywall? Here it is, anyhow, via The Post.

“This summer, The Washington Post will start charging frequent users of its Web site, asking those who look at more than 20 articles or multimedia features a month to pay a fee, although the company has not decided how much it will charge.”

Now, I’ve certainly doled out plenty of snark upon local teams that have raised prices for tickets, parking, soft drinks, ticket activation fees and other modern accoutrements of sports fandom. I’d posit that The Post — as part of the clearly struggling print-newspaper industry — is not exactly the same as a billion-dollar sports franchise asking for $40 to park a car, but whatever.

Still, if any local team wanted to use this latest media news as occasion to take repeated shots at The Post, I guess I’d have to be quiet and take my medicine. Oh, what’s that, Larry Michael? You’d like to be first in line? Fine, have at it.

“The Redskins have been asked if Redskins.com will start charging for content,” the team’s site wrote this week. “The answer is absolutely not! Redskins.com is and will remain free! While some media outlets have announced plans to start charging for some digital content requiring online readers to pay a subscription fee, not us!”

Well, dandy! Tell me more about this free content?

“Coming up on April the 15th is the start of the offseason conditioning drills for the Redskins,” Official Voice of Freedom Larry Michael said on a particularly free video. “You can check out that coverage absolutely FREE right here on Redskins.com TV….Now, last season for the Redskins, you could catch every single press conference the Redskins had, both inside and outside, after practice or on a Monday morning, and you could catch it for FREE right here on Redskins.comTV….

“And the highlights of the season, oh, the highlights last year. The Redskins, NFC East champions, you saw the highlights here, on Redskins.com, absolutely for FREE….And last week on the eve of free agency you saw both Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen streamed live, right here on Redskins.com, and it was FREE….And the archives, the archives at Redskins.com go back years upon years of great, FREE, all-access unfiltered coverage of the Redskins. And coming up in April, a very special announcement in the weeks to come, a special show to debut the night of the first round of the NFL Draft, right here on Redskins.comTV, absolutely FREE.”

If some pesky business was distracting you with e-mailed sales offers while you tried to read that transcription, let me summarize the Redskins.comTV business model: FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE FREE AHAHAHAHAHAHA WE ARE FREE AND THE WASHINGTON POST ISN’T FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Again, I can’t really do anything but smile and take my medicine.

Oh, and while I was cruising around — FOR FREE — on the Redskins’ site, I noticed this very fetching team logo T-shirt for just $30, plus $8.99 shipping and handling. What appears to be the identical T-shirt, meanwhile, is also available at the NFL Shop for just $24.99, plus $4.99 shipping and handling.

But I guess when so much on Redskins.com is FREE FREE FREE, you might as well pay an extra $9.01 for the right to purchase an identical T-shirt. It’s only fair.

(Also, if Redskins.com staffers prefer free media, I’d recommend Washington City Paper. That’s free. Absolutely.)

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | March 20, 2013