Pay Per Item News May Be A Bargain

IN THE PAST, COMPANIES wishing to receive live news-wire feeds usually have had to subscribe to the full service--even if they only wanted to read a few items a day. Or they could get delayed access at a lower price. Now, Wave Systems Corp. in New York plans to offer instant, pay-per-use access to major wire services at a reasonable cost.

Initially, the system, called Network News, will handle stories and other information from Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News, Sports-Ticker, and several other news services. Indexing software from Verity Inc. will capture articles about any topics the customer specifies. The data will arrive at customers' premises, encrypted, via Hughes Network Systems Inc.'s DirecPC satellite network. Pricing: $9,000-plus to set up the receiver, then $1 to $1.50 per article.