The BBC’s success in keeping Premier League highlights until the end of the century has ensured the launch of its new Match of the Day magazine in September.
The new magazine will finally be given the go-ahead this week after the eponymous sports programme’s future was secured by the BBC’s highlights deal with the Premier League last week for 70m.
As well as trading off Match of the Day’s 32-year-old brand, the new magazine will exploit the BBC’s connection with Fantasy Football, Sportsnight and Radio Five Live.
The title has to undergo final research before a decision will be taken on its frequency and the size of its print run, but the magazine is likely to be similar to the monthly glossy format of Top Gear. It is understood the title will initially share Top Gear’s publishing director Stuart Snaith and his ad sales team.
Launch promotions will exploit both radio and TV and the sports pages of the national press. The editorial will make use of celebrity comment and opinion to compensate for a monthly’s lack of immediacy.
BBC sources maintain that the strength of the brand will create its own space in the crowded football publishing market. Within six months of launch in 1994 Top Gear was the best selling car magazine in the UK, despite three rival launches in the market in the same year.