ABC Figures: Football titles turn in disappointing figures

The football titles turned in a disappointing performance on the whole, possibly because there were no major football tournaments in the second half of last year.

The football titles turned in a disappointing performance on the

whole, possibly because there were no major football tournaments in the

second half of last year.



But given the explosive performance of Haymarket’s Four Four Two, which

scored its highest ABC - up 23.4 per cent period on period - that excuse

will not wash with everyone.



Four Four Two’s reflective style - which puts it up against the likes of

GQ - has shown that a quality magazine can still grow in a market that

is consistently being chipped away by the increasing coverage of the

sport in the national newspapers.



Its nearest competitor, BBC’s Match of the Day, fared less well. It rose

by less than 1 per cent period on period and dropped 19.5 per cent year

on year.



Four Four Two’s publisher, Kevin Whitchurch, says: ’The figures show

that a more thoughtful and reflective magazine can do really well.’



With the advent of cable and satellite channels devoted to covering club

matches, the future does not look bright for the club titles, which

turned in a lacklustre performance.



But it was the titles aimed at a younger market - such as Shoot! and

Match - that really disappointed. Although Match performed well in the

period, its year-on-year sales fell by nearly 18 per cent.



Shoot!, meanwhile, suffered an 11 per cent and 29 per cent drop in the

period and year respectively.



Verdict Given that there are major football tournaments and that England

has qualified for Euro 2000 in June, this should be a better year for

football titles. However, they will face tough competition from the

nationals and broadcasters.



Football magazines

Title               Publisher      Total ABC    Period on    Year on

                                                 period %       year

Match               Emap             105,385          8.5      -17.7

Manchester Utd      Zone              90,339          2.1       -1.8

Four Four Two       Haymarket         88,329         23.4        9.8

Match of the Day    BBC               72,777          0.2      -19.5

World Soccer        IPC               56,032          5.7      -11.4

Shoot!              IPC               50,303        -11.2       29.5

Glory Glory Man

Utd                 Future            30,600        -11.4      -18.3

Total Football      Future            25,177        n/a        -25.9

The Evertonian      Liverpool Post    14,526         -5.1      n/a

The Kop             Liverpool Post    12,491         16.1      n/a

Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999)



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