ABC Figures: TV Choice launch hits listings sector growth

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.

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

to 1,337,036.



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.



TV magazines

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)



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