Celebrities cash in on latest additions
First came the expensive glossy magazine spreads of celebrity baby snaps sold to the highest bidder.
Now we have an Australian sports star charging fans for the privilege of finding out the name of his newborn.
The tennis player Lleyton Hewitt and his former actress wife Bec announced at the weekend the birth of their third child, a girl.
Cashing in ... Lleyton and Bec Hewitt. Photo: Justin McManus
Fans who want to find out the baby's name have to subscribe to a premium SMS service called ''Text A Star''.
The service, which costs $2 a message, was set up to allow sports fans to ''get a unique insight into the life of your favourite player … without any media filter'', its creators say on its website.
Hewitt posted on his website on Saturday: ''Today, Lleyton Hewitt announced via Text a Star the following: 'Bec, Mia, Cruz and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family last Tuesday. Mum and baby are great! Dad, big sister and brother elated.
Illustration: Cathy Wilcox
''The name of the new addition will be sent through Text a Star later in the week.''
Through the SMS service, sports stars - including AFL players Gary Ablett, Adam Goodes and Buddy Franklin - send two messages a week to update subscribers about training and life in general.
Asked about Hewitt's move, his manager David Drysdale, said he was ''not going to comment'' on why the couple were choosing to announce their daughter's name through the service.
It is unclear how much the couple will profit from the service.
Ryan Berman, from Text A Star, said the service was ''the new Twitter''. He would not reveal how much sportspeople who signed up to the service were paid, but said ''Text A Star and the players get the least amount'' while the ''telecommunications [carriers] get the most''.
Asked about Hewitt using the service, Mr Berman said: ''Whether he chooses to release information about his child is his decision.''
He said Hewitt had previously sent SMS about his wife and how proud he was of his children.
There is speculation the Hewitts may have signed an exclusive deal about their baby with a magazine - possibly OK!, which published a large spread after their second child Cruz's birth in 2008.
Hewitt earned $2.9 million in 2009 and $6.6 million in 2008.
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