Happy Easter to all who celebrate it!
Orthodox Easter is next Sunday, so I have to wait another week to color eggs, one of my favorite traditions with our children.
In the interest of making sure as many of our existing subscribers as possible are aware of how they can avoid the coming price increase, I just want to go over it one more time this week. I hope you don’t mind.
There’s new Site Stuff material down below, beginning with the second entry.
For three-plus years, we have been one of the least expensive subscription sports media sites around. And we’ll continue to be that. But we at least have to close the gap a little, so we’re going to have a price increase.
It will take effect at midnight on Monday, April 9, and it will see our prices move to $4.99 for monthly, $39.99 for annual and $87 for the three-year Lunatic. (They’re currently $3.99, $29.99 and $66.)
Our discounted prices for students and senior citizens, as well as our free subscriptions for active-duty military, will remain the same.
This will be only the second price increase in the site’s existence — the other was in September 2016 — even though the original prices were set when Dejan was the only writer. We’ve obviously grown a lot since the beginning, now covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt football, Penn State football and Riverhounds full-time, all games, home and road, plus so much more. And through all that, again, the prices have stayed pretty much the same.
Even with this increase, we’ll remain way below most subscription sports sites, whether in Pittsburgh or anywhere, as this illustrates:
By printing this, we’re not making a commentary on anyone else’s prices. Their businesses are their businesses, and everyone’s got a different outlook. We’re just trying to offer you a fuller perspective on where our prices stand.
We appreciate the tremendous support we’ve gotten from you, from our sponsors and partners, from the teams and colleges we cover. It wasn’t easy being the first venture of our kind, and it isn’t easy continuing to grow to the goals that we — and you — have come to expect. We’ve talked about an increase since this past September, and we finally felt this was the right time.
Also, and this is important: If you’re already with us, you can avoid the price increase by upgrading, or extending (if you have a three-year subscription) at the current prices at any time between now and April 8.
We did this in 2016, too, and it proved to be hugely popular with our existing subscribers, so here’s how it works:
1. Tap on My Account.
2. Once you’re there, tap on the blue button marked Upgrade Subscription or Renew
3. On the page you see next, tap on the level to which you’d like to upgrade or renew and purchase.
4. Please allow 24 hours for your account to fully update.
Your upgraded level will be added on top of your existing subscription. So, for example, if you’re currently on a one-year plan with six months remaining, and you upgrade to the three-year, you’ll be subscribed for the next six months plus another three years (but at the current price).
Hopefully, this way, as many current subscribers as possible don’t have to experience any price increase for years to come.
We thank you yet again for your support. We can never say that enough.
Anything you need, email us: Help@DKPittsburghSports.com.
SO YOU WANT TO DO THIS?
When people meet me who don’t know what I do, they always respond with the same reply when I tell them I’m a sports writer and cover the Steelers.
“Oh, that sounds like fun,” is the typical reply.
And sometimes, they’re right. This past week, for example. I spent the week in Orlando, Fla., hanging around the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott, two of the nicer hotels around — no, I didn’t stay at either one.
But that was about the extent of what I did or saw for four days. See, when you’re working, you’re working.
Take, for example, our crew of Lance Lysowski, Dejan Kovacevic and Matt Sunday, who were in Detroit to cover the Pirates’ opener Thursday. After a rainout, the game was moved to Friday. It just as easily could have been cancelled that day, as well, as temperatures hovered in the upper 30s and low 40s throughout the game.
Sunday, our intrepid staff photographer, was on the field for all glorious five-and-a-half hours — and then some. See, we’ve got to get there early in case something happens. And you have to stay there late, writing, editing and doing everything else involved with the coverage of a game.
That prompted Sunday, ever the humorist, to post this to our staff text:
Below his selfie, Sunday simply wrote, “I’m cold guys.”
And that was about 2 1/2 hours into his six or so hours spent in lovely Detroit covering a 13-10 Pittsburgh win on a Chris Boswell field goal, er, Gregory Polanco homer in the 13th inning.
About three hours, give or take an hour, after the game ended, our group headed back to their hotel to finish the evening’s work.
Just another day at the office. Game days are typically 10 to 14 hours per day. And often times, they’re not played in ideal weather when it comes to the outdoor sports we cover — football, baseball and soccer.
But, this is the job we signed up for. — Dale Lolley in Orlando, Fla.
LIGHTENING THE LOAD
We’ve spent the better part of the tech week working with our friends at Aspinwall-based Build In Motion on lightening the load on the site, the app and the servers. It’s not a quick process, but it basically comes down to using smaller-sized or more modern images and videos to make sure you see our stuff faster and, in turn, we can better manage server costs.
There’s a tough line to walk here, as you might expect. We’ve got professionals doing our photos and videos in Matt Sunday and Chris Benson, respectively, and we want their material to make it to you in fine form. But we also want to keep the process humming.
I’ll let you know in What’s Brewing through the week when these have started. — Dejan Kovacevic in Detroit
Both of our apps are free and updated regularly. Get your app or update your existing app by tapping the appropriate button below:
If you’ve got issues with either app, please help us out by emailing specifics to Help@DKPittsburghSports.com, including your device, platform and operating system. — Dejan
BACK TO BUSINESS
• Subscriptions are at 38,475. That’s minus-33 over the past week.
• We’re at 408 in the Lifetime Lunatic category, with 19 sold in the past week. If you’re interested in upgrading to any level at any time for any reason, click or tap My Account in the menu, then click or tap Upgrade Subscription.
• We had 550,415 page views, according to Google Analytics. Our five most-hit articles — exempting live files — were DK’s column on the Penguins’ loss in Detroit at 10,428, last week’s Friday Insider at 8,366, Matt Grubba’s coverage of Pitt hiring Jeff Capel at 7,847, DK’s Monday Grind at 7,111, and DK’s column on Pitt hiring Capel at 6,555.
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• We make mistakes. If you see one, email Typos@DKPittsburghSports.com.
• Anything you need, including lost/forgotten passwords, email us: Help@DKPittsburghSports.com.