Addicott TalkSPORT owner the Wireless Group is launching a magazine dedicated to football betting later this month.
SoccerBet is a 68-page full-colour weekly designed in an A5 format. It is hoping to attract football fans who enjoy placing a bet on the game.
Backed by a £500,000 promotion campaign on TalkSPORT and local radio, it will feature previews of Barclaycard Premiership games as well as Nationwide, Scottish and European fixtures and interviews with players and managers. There will also be a section at the back dedicated to alternative sports such as golf, tennis and Formula One.
Former Sport First editor James Eastham is editor of the new title.
According to Eastham, football betting is the fastest-growing sector in the gambling industry.
“It’s a huge, growing market – it’s already more popular than horse racing online and we expect it to dominate the high street franchises in a few years’ time,” he said. “When people think of betting they think of horse racing and greyhounds, but we won’t be dealing with that. I don’t think there is anyone catering for the sports betting market at all. It’s the first of its kind in this country or abroad and we know its time has come,” he added.
The launch has been timed to coincide with the start of the football season. SoccerBet will be published every Friday and Eastham is hoping to sell more than 20,000 copies. It will have an initial print run of 70,000 and a cover price of £1.20. Copies will be distributed from major cities, including London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow. Eastham told Press Gazette he hoped the smaller size would appeal to readers. “It’s a size football fans are used to; all fanzines are A5,” he said.
Although the magazine will be produced at Wireless Group offices, Eastham stressed it would be standalone with no talkSPORT branding.
Eastham is supported by a group of freelances and tipsters and hopes to recruit more full-time staff once the launch is under way. Sunday Telegraph freelance and former editor of onefootball.
com, Ben Lyttleton, is among the writers, which also include Reuters and Guardian correspondent David Alexander.
Gary Newbon, ITV sportscaster and executive producer for Carlton Television’s regional sports programmes, has returned to TalkSPORT to present the radio station’s Saturday afternoon phone-in show, 505, for the football season. He starts the show, which runs from 5-8pm, on 16 August. Newbon was in Talk Radio’s original line-up in 1995. He has reported sport on television for 26 years.
By Ruth Addicott