Radio Times MD Kathy Day says: “This is the first time Radio Times has increased price on a single issue, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. Newsstand sales are more than 30 per cent higher than normal, and our RSV is up a whopping 88%, making this a bonanza issue for readers, advertisers, wholesalers and retailers.”
Editor Ben Preston says: “We wanted to publish an Olympics issue so good that people would want to keep it forever – but use it every day. We ripped up our production schedules and worked through a weekend and overnight to produce the only 16-day television guide to the Games on the market, including all the BBC’s 24 new live channels.”
“Our readers expect a lot from Radio Times for national events like the Games or the Royal Jubilee. And to borrow from Lord Coe, ‘we did it right’ – and received a Mexican wave of compliments from readers.”
The Games also gave Radio Times a sales boost totalling about 80,000 for three other issues (cover dates 21 July, 4 August and 11 August), covering the opening and closing ceremonies and the second week of London 2012. In April, the magazine recorded its highest newsstand sales increase for six years for the Royal Jubilee issue with a cover commissioned from the artist Sir Peter Blake.
In a pioneering deal, Proctor and Gamble teamed up with Radio Times to sponsor the extra 72-page Olympic magazine, which was printed on heavier paper-stock to showcase its spectacular sports photography.
The bumper issue contained TV listings for all 16 days of action at the Olympics with expert contributions from a team including ten gold medallists and top BBC’s Olympic presenters such as Gary Lineker, Jonathan Edwards, Sharon Davies, James Cracknell and Brendan Foster. Britain’s best-selling quality magazine also included writers Lynne Truss, Matthew Syed, Eddie Mair and Sarah Millican and interviews with everyone from Victoria Pendleton to Rebecca Addlington’s parents and Tony Blair.
The issue was supported by a 10-second TV ad, created by Creature of London, with primetime spots running on ITV1 and C4 from 20 July. The ad was the magazine’s first TV advertising since May 2006.
The magazine had an extended on-sale period, commencing Saturday 21 July for London and surrounding areas, and came off sale on Thursday 2 August.
The usual 1 million print run was increased by 200k, and the special edition cost £2 (usual price £1.40).
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