The TV market has emerged bruised and battered from the launch by H
Bauer of TV Choice in September, with all paid-for titles except Attic
Futura’s Inside Soap witnessing a decline in circulation.
TV Choice, which competitors estimate sold around 700,000 copies a week
since launch, has made a dent on the biggest paid-for TV listings guide,
What’s On TV, although a 1.4 per cent dip to 1,741,157 shows that IPC
Magazines has borne the scars fairly well.
IPC tx has signalled that it intends to gradually increase the price of
What’s On TV, following an aggressive price war with TV Choice, but Sly
Bailey, the chief executive of IPC Magazines, said: ’We are absolutely
going to slug this one out.’
BBC Worldwide’s Radio Times continues to use substantial bulk sales to
shore up its title (33,279 in the six months to December), but even with
this padding the magazine reported a year-on-year drop of 4.5 per cent
Ironically, H Bauer’s TV Quick has suffered from the launch of its
sister title, TV Choice, with the former recording a 13.8 per cent fall
in circulation to 638,855.
Inside Soap bucked the trend with a generous 13.9 per cent rise in sales
to 263,794. The launch by Attic of All About Soap, which had a debut ABC
of 130,111, did not have a negative impact on sales, and indicates that
this sector could experience further growth.
The free TV listings guides, Skyview and the Cable Guide, continue to
lead the market in terms of circulation, although the former continues
to decline as analogue viewers switch to Skyview Digital.
Verdict H Bauer has carved out a significant chunk of the market for TV
Choice, but it appears that the magazine is cannibalising existing
titles rather than attracting new readers. The future of this market
will not be helped by the growth of electronic programme guides and
internet TV listings.
Title Publisher Total ABC Period on Year on
period % year
Skyview Redwood 2,299,295 -24.1 -32.5
Cable Guide Cable Guide 2,067,752 4.7 11.1
What’s On TV IPC 1,741,157 -4.0 -1.4
Radio Times BBC 1,337,036 -3.8 -4.5
Skyview Digital Redwood 1,240,114 171.5 n/a
TV Times IPC 790,999 -4.2 -7.0
TV Quick H Bauer 638,855 -12.0 -13.8
Inside Soap Attic Futura 263,794 4.7 13.9
TV & Sat Week IPC 180,530 -9.1 -6.8
All About Soap Attic Futura 130,111 n/a n/a
Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999)