TV CHOICE: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - TV Choice adds little extra to a congested TV listings market, Claire Oates writes

Do we really need another TV listings magazine?

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.