Do we really need another TV listings magazine?
TV Choice is the latest functional little rag, but is it that different
to what’s already on offer?
The television advertising focuses on the national obsession - soap
operas - and within that the housewives’ favourite: Coronation Street.
This theme is continued on the front of this week’s magazine which
features Corrie’s Sally, Sharon and Dan and the coverline, ’Love
The magazine gets straight to the point, providing all the information
you require for your week’s viewing in an economical and comprehensive
manner. Unlike the opposition there are few full-length features on
actors or celebrities, although this week’s issue offers an insight into
why Des Lynam jumped ship to ITV.
The magazine is aimed at women - highlighted by the rather short feature
on sport - and should almost certainly find its readership. There are
the obligatory competitions with fabulous prizes, along with several
short interviews with the likes of Denise Van Outen and Kevin Whately.
The weekly soap previews are so concise that if you miss your favourite
you can certainly catch up.
The TV listings themselves are well laid out and easy on the eye. The
colour co-ordination makes it easy to find the channel and the satellite
and digital sections are categorised in a simple and informative
From a media perspective, TV Choice is a new publication joining an
already saturated marketplace consisting of specialist TV listing
magazines and Sunday newspaper supplements. It can only cannibalise the
existing magazines as it doesn’t offer anything unique.
As we are aware, the future is digital television and the Electronic
Programme Guide - a personalised system which will offer an even easier
way to select your programmes by knowing your individual tastes. This
begs the question of the lifespan of the printed TV listings guide. With
more channels being launched, just how feasible will a magazine be when
we are trying to choose between hundreds of them?
Claire Oates is an associate director of MediaCom/TMB.