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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Newsday.com to subscriber model Oct. 28

As a golden sun reddens the sky at

As a golden sun reddens the sky at sunset behind him, a fisherman pulls his net out of Chesapeake Bay near Mathews, Va. (Sept. 14, 2009) (Credit: AP Photo)

Effective Wednesday - just in time for Game 1! - most of Newsday.com's content will be available free only to subscribers to Optimum Online and/or the printed version of Newsday.

That's a group that covers most of Long Island and significant chunks of other parts of the metropolitan area.

Everyone else will have to pay, much as people currently do for other products they enjoy, such as movies, television, books, phone service, Internet connections, pizza, beer and ice cream.

Here is a story about this monumental step in the history of Newsday in particular and the newspaper industry in general.

The story quotes a media consultant named John Morton, who said the current system of free online content is not a "rational model."

That, my friends, is indisputable.

"Despite the false premise that has been floating around for the last 19 years, that information on the Internet wants to be free, [it] is just not true," Morton said. "People have always been willing to pay for information they have felt was useful to them."

I am not invited to meetings of Newsday/Cablevision executives, but I assume part of the strategy here is not solely about generating revenue from Newsday.com but also about giving people in Cablevision's territory one more reason to stick with or switch to the company's services over those of its competitors.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Feel free to discuss this among yourselves.

I have a newspaper column to write.

Photo: AP

Tags: no free lunch

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