Posh and Becks give sales on Sunday a million boost

Posh’s life story and the England victory was a dream line-up for MoS

Posh’s life story; Becks and the rest of them beating Germany – what more could Sunday newspapers ask of a weekend?

For The Mail on Sunday, which snaffled the official Victoria Beckham autobiography, its extract plus coverage of England’s stunning World Cup qualifying match victory produced the second highest sale in the paper’s history, beaten only by the issue for the Princess of Wales’s funeral.

By Tuesday, editor Peter Wright knew he had sold 300,000 extra copies, 12.9 per cent up on the previous week – a sellout at 2,625,000.

Industry sources suggest that, counting in the normal recovery in sales after the summer holidays, the market has been boosted by as much as a million sales week on week. Several newspaper groups held back their early deadlines to get the final score from Munich and some were helped by television promotion.

The Independent on Sunday, without promotion, is claiming an estimated rise of 15 per cent and Sport First a 20 per cent rise to almost 100,000. Sport First editor Chris Mann said extra copies were printed and the paper boxed out after the third goal went in.

The News of the World had a "formidable" sale. Circulation manager Alan Palfreyman estimated it at 4,282,000, up 232,000 copies – a 5.73 per cent increase – "purely down to England winning 5-1". It was the paper’s highest sale since 21 March, 1999.

The Sunday Express is expecting a 10 per cent rise taking it back over the 1 million mark. Trade estimates for the Sunday Mirror and Sunday People came in at 5 per cent and 5.5 per cent up respectively.

The Sunday Mirror’s August monthly average sale is said to be 1,891,000, its best performance since October 2000, while last Sunday’s estimated sale of 1,964,000 is the highest of the year so far.

The Sunday Times managed an estimated 6.56 per cent increase (85,820) to 1,394,000. Managing editor Richard Caseby felt the print media came into its own, able to devote pages of match analysis to explaining how the England victory happened.

The Observer calculates it went up 10 per cent, 50,000 copies on the previous week’s sale, which put it over 500,000. It had the Observer Sports Monthly magazine to help the climb.

The Sunday Telegraph notched up a 6.5 per cent, 51,000-copy increase, coming in at 855,000.

Even bigger sales might have been achieved if some Sundays had had the flexibility to print more copies.

Even Wright, who did get an extra print run, had a small complaint about this. "Probably the reason that the Sunday Express has done better than the other red-tops is that we simply ran out of copies," he said.

Jean Morgan

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