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Cash for content

RealNetworks offers news, sports and music to paying customers

RealNetworks has launched it's RealOne SuperPass subscription service in Europe. The paid-for service offers users premium content streamed to their PCs.

SuperPass costs £9.99 per month, and for that users will get access to news and events coverage from the BBC and CNN, sports, music and entertainment from Uefa, Wimbledon, CricInfo MTV and BBC Worldwide, among other providers.

The service was already running in a limited fashion, offering 24-hour coverage of the Big Brother house for £9.95 per month. Subscribers to this service will automatically be upgraded to receive SuperPass content.

This is the first time the service been available outside North America, where it has 600,000 subscribers. In the US RealNetworks have content packages, similar to those offered by cable and satellite TV operators, and customers pay for the content they want — for example access to pit and driver commentary on Nascar racing costs $29.95 (£20) per racing season.

While the European service doesn't have any extra paid for channels as yet, RealNetworks product marketing director, Gina Lee, said, "The service will be constantly evolving with significant additions and changes as time goes on." Currently the sole option is a standalone channel from CNN Europe that provides news content only for £4.95 a month.

A 14-day free trial of SuperPass is available from RealNetworks website.

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