Extra time runs out for Total Sport

Emap Active has pulled the plug on Total Sport, little more than a year after it inherited the struggling title from Emap Metro.

Emap Active has pulled the plug on Total Sport, little more than a

year after it inherited the struggling title from Emap Metro.



The December issue, on sale now, will be the last. The ad sales staff,

who sold across the Emap Active sports portfolio, are unaffected by the

closure and will be re-directed into ’developing something new in a

different sector.’



Total Sport’s January-June 1999 ABC slumped to 43,720, a year-on-year

fall of 18 per cent, despite Active relaunching the magazine with a

re-design by a new editorial team and a sizeable investment in

promotion.



Recent sports spectacles such as the cricket world cup, world athletics

championships and rugby world cup couldn’t save the title although

publishing director Rob MacDonald claimed that the next ABC would have

shown a slight improvement.



’Total Sport is very expensive to produce and you need to sell a lot

more copies and a lot more advertising to make it pay,’ said MacDonald.

’It’s a superb editorial product but there just isn’t a sustainable

market for a general sports glossy.’



Active had tried to position Total Sport to advertisers as a lifestyle

magazine building on its ’boys to men’ portfolio which includes games,

sports, cars, bikes and hobbies.



Although it doesn’t have a direct competitor, Total Sport has had to

compete with the expanding sports sections of national newspapers and an

array of specialist sport titles. Another general sport magazine, Inside

Sport, closed last year and the football sector has seen a number of

closures in recent times including 90 Minutes and Football Monthly.



Total Sport has also had to contend with the launch of the Sunday

newspaper, Sport First, which recorded an ABC for September of 91,678

and expects to see an increase in October to 98,000. The newspaper has

also added a Saturday edition in the South-east which is selling around

22,000 copies.



Explaining his title’s success and Total Sport’s demise, Sport First

editor Chris Mann said: ’What we can offer is immediacy with reports

immediately after the events. Also, our content is heavily skewed

towards football because we only cover something if it is newsworthy

rather than try and do justice to all sports.’



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