Earlier this month I was looking at the Times online subscription numbers and concluding that they implied a strategy to bundle the Times subscription with News Corp's more valuable telephony/ISP/TV business.
(This looks even more likely, incidentally, now the service is being advertised on the London Underground and on daytime TV - the economics of above the line advertising make sense for Sky but little for the new Times website).
Today Paidcontent reports that the subscription site is now to be given away as part of mobile provider 3's, thus commencing the strategy of bundling content that has been made artificially scarce through the erection of this paywall with an access and telephony service. To be fair, News Corp is still operating within the letter of what chairman James Murdoch claimed, that there were "no immediate plans to bundle the Times Online with Sky television services". And yet, if they are to bundle access to Times content for a cut of someone else's access and telephony revenues, why wouldn't they bundle it with their own? Right now, it seems very likely they are delaying that obvious next move so as to avoid handing the regulators looking into the BskyB takeover another stick with which to beat them. But clearly it is now only a matter of time.