Introducing World Chess Club, a New Online Subscription Service
ByEditorsFeb 13 — 1:00 PM
It not only provides access to all World Championship events, it will be a way for fans to directly support the top players.
The Grand Prix, a series of four tournaments that are part of the World Championship cycle, begins Saturday in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. All of the games, with live video feeds, from all the tournaments will be broadcast only on this site: WorldChess.com. People who want to see all the action along with expert commentary can do so by purchasing a yearly subscription for $30 to a new service called World Chess Club.
People who do not want to buy a yearly subscription will be able to watch each tournament for $10. Anyone who does not want to pay can still watch the moves free on WorldChess.com.
World Chess Club is basically a pay-per-view service similar to those used in other sports, like boxing. But it comes with some benefits that pay-per-view does not usually offer. And it also represents a way for fans to directly support top players.
Subscribers will receive:
— Exclusive access to archives of previous broadcasts (for example, the World Championship in New York last November and the Candidates tournament in Moscow last March);
— Invitations for private events (on-site and streaming) organized around World Championship tournaments;
— Access to online chats with top players during the events;
— Discounts to merchandise sold through an online store.
And 10 percent of all subscription revenue will be added directly to the prize funds for the players.
Ilya Merenzon, the chief executive of World Chess by Agon, which holds the commercial rights to organize the World Championship cycle, said that World Chess Club has two purposes: To provide fans with a better viewing experience and also to professionalize chess.
He said, “Our mission is to give chess a sustainable financial future as an elite sport. All our revenues are reinvested back into the World Chess Championship cycle for the benefit of fans and players.”
In addition to the regular $30 subscription, there will also be a premium subscription service for $250 a year. It has all the benefits of basic membership, but subscribers will also receive:
— Official posters from each tournament in the championship cycle, signed by all the players;
— A single admission to the VIP area of any World Championship tournament during the year;
— Access to a members area at all official press conferences at World Championship tournaments;
— Guaranteed access to tickets to all World Championship tournaments.