Canadian Magazine Industry News
13 June 2011,     TORONTO
Sportsnet making jump from television to magazine
Sportsnet is jumping from the television screen to the magazine page starting this fall.

The popular Rogers broadcast channel is launching as a bi-weekly this fall to newsstands and subscribers, to be published 26 times a year. It's likely to be one of the largest magazine launches this year, if not the largest.

"The magazine will use the power of the printed word and compelling visuals to deliver expertise, deep analysis and insight," reads a release from Rogers Media. "The magazine will focus on the major professional leagues and the premier amateur events, with particular focus on the teams and stars that Canadians care most about."

Hockey, baseball, football, soccer and MMA will be the main stars of the magazine according to the publisher.

The publication will launch with a 100,000 circulation. "Our research indicates that this is an appropriate circulation figure to launch a mass-market sports magazine," said Suneel Khanna, senior director of brand communications for Rogers.

He wouldn't yet reveal anything about the magazine's physical appearance, or whether the existing Sportsnet logo will be used on the banner. Advertising and subscription information will be released "in the weeks and months to come".

While Transcontinental has a contract to print Rogers titles, a six-year deal that was signed in 2008, "the printer (for Sportsnet) is still to be determined," noted Khanna. "An RFQ will be issued to give all printers an opportunity to bid on the magazine printing."

While many sport-specific magazines have done well in Canada, for example The Hockey News, Canadian-based general-interest sports titles have a scored poorly over the decades. Many years ago a plan to launch a sports-specific version of TV Guide never got off the ground. But Rogers brings considerable resources to this project.

The magazine is staffing up and several jobs have been posted on the Masthead Job Board.

— Jeff Hayward
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