Bookmaker Paddy Power has Associated Newspapers as five-to-four favourite to win the contract to distribute free newspapers at London Underground stations when its 10-year exclusive deal to distribute Metro on the tube expires next year.
Associated is thought to be paying around £1m a year for the distribution deal – and is understood to have been making an annual profit of up to £8m with Metro. It has a circulation in London of just under 750,000.
The next round of tendering is expected to be split into morning and afternoon distribution slots.
News International‘s thelondonpaper could make a bid to use the bins, as could Alexander Lebedev’s Evening Standard – if he decided to take the paper wholly or partly free.
In October, 2006, Thelondonpaper won the contract to be distributed inside London’s ten mainline railway stations.
Sharon McHugh, spokesperson for Paddy Power said: “We all know temperatures can rocket in London’s Underground but we expect things to get very heated indeed when the race to secure the Tube Distribution deal gets underway.”
Their odds are as follows:
- 5/4 DMGT
- 7/4 News International
- 4/1 London Evening Standard
- 6/1 Express Newspapers
- 50/1 People’s Press – The Morning Star
- 500/1 D. C. Thomson & Co. Ltd – The Beano/Dandy Xtreme