By AARON LUCCHETTI WSJ January 12, 2007; Page C3 The New York Stock Exchange plans a pilot program later this year that could bring real-time stock-price data to millions of Internet users. The NYSE Group Inc. unit was expected to file a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. If the proposal is approved by the federal regulator, NYSE will sell to Web sites for $100,000 a month the ability to publish trade prices on the NYSE with virtually no delay. Web site operators including Google Inc. and General Electric Co.'s CNBC, have both agreed to provide their data to users without charge, if the plan is approved, and NYSE has also held discussions with several other Internet providers such as Yahoo Inc., said people familiar with the matter. Modern Investors Won't Wait The move by NYSE comes in response to pressure from Internet providers to make more real-time data available to the general public. For years, exchanges such as the Big Board made that data available to investors with a delay, usually 15 to 20 minutes. Investors who wanted real-time information had to sign forms and agree to pay a separate per-user fee. That wasn't an issue before the 1990s, when most investors felt a 20-minute delay didn't amount to much. Since the late 1990s, however, more investors have demanded real-time data and Internet providers have been able to pull real-time market data from large electronic networks run by Instinet and Archipelago. But when Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. and the NYSE bought those networks, the real-time data dried up and Internet companies, led by lobbying group NetCoalition, complained that consumers shouldn't be getting stale stock prices when other data from economic releases to sports scores were released up to the second. "It's too bad that we've had to wait this long, but it's a great step," says Katie Jacobs Stanton, group product manager for Google Finance. Google and NYSE have discussed delayed prices for years, but talks heated up in recent months. The issue could shed light on whether for-profit exchanges are more responsive and innovative, or merely more greedy at the expense of customers. Nasdaq is also rolling out plans to make more real-time data available. Advocates of for-profit exchanges point out that the two markets can compete on price and the user-friendliness of their data to persuade Web sites to sign up with them. "We need to be innovative to eliminate delayed data," says Ronald Jordan, senior vice president of market data at NYSE. "People want data faster and better." The NYSE plans to make the plan available for a year, in part because it wants to study the impact of the program before making it permanent. Depending on the SEC's response, the program could be made available as early as March. Not all media sites plan to pay for the NYSE data. A spokeswoman for Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, WSJ.com and MarketWatch.com, says the company hasn't yet seen "significant customer demand for additional real-time data that would justify the added cost" of the NYSE offering. NYSE is keeping some data close to the vest, including the size of trades, and the quotes at which investors are willing to buy and sell shares. That information is available on the floor and to Wall Street firms and institutional investors for a charge, and is made available to customers of some brokerage firms, which usually wrap in the costs as part of investors' commission payments. Electronic Concert The broader use of real-time data is made possible in part by the NYSE's embrace of electronic trading -- most stocks there now trade a majority of their volume over computers. New SEC rules that allow exchanges to print their own data in addition to releasing them as part of a consolidated quote plan with other exchanges has also enabled the plan, says Mr. Jordan. SEC rules encourage investors to use the more comprehensive information on the consolidated plan before making trading decisions. The consolidated plan, available through brokerage-firm sites, includes prices, quotes and the size of trades on all U.S. exchanges, whereas the free information that Google, CNBC and possibly others will feature will show only the last trade price. But CNBC officials say the data will also be used to feature charts and updated information about market movements. CNBC's television network already uses real-time prices for its scrolling ticker at the bottom of the screen, says Scott Drake, CNBC's vice president of digital products.