I'm not really mad at the whole notion of the NPDs being pay-per-view, however I do wonder the full implications of the issue. I have at least four thoughts on this particular topic.
One - It's been said that information is a powerful thing. Knowledge is power, and of course the person in control of the knowledge holds power. So a move like this isn't actually uncommon if the goal is to basically control information about how much a game is really making for a company.
Two - when the data is only distributed in smaller amounts or through interested parties there seems to be some incentive to spin some of the information in order to put it in a more positive light for the sake of a company's bottom line.This is something we're probably going to see more of in the future as many companies prop up their sales on multiplatform games while hiding the fact that sales will be dwindling fast throughout the period of the next thirty days. The downside of this tactic would be that for all the effort in trying to mask this, we are still notified when game studios close down. Basically even if the truth is hidden it never stays that way.
Three - This reminds me of a scene in the movie "All the President's Men" where Deep Throat (As played by Hal Holbrook) tells the reporters to "follow the money". What he meant was that if you trace the data you'll find out the truth. This makes the move to make the NPDs private access only even more suspicious.
Four - Of course sites like 1up, IGN and the like can easily pay that fee, but the Bloggers of course are another matter. It would be hilarious if this is additionally about creating a barrier of entry for bloggers, that would leave the news only available to the big boys, but I'm just creatively speculating at this point.
These are just thoughts, and I won't go that much further, lest I be truly living up to my name, but it makes you think, doesn't it?