Once upon a time, British sports fans would end their afternoon at the Saturday soccer match by buying a copy of their local pink ‘un, a local sporting newspaper hastily rushed off the presses in time for dinner. Now Daily Mail General Trust’s (DMGT) Northcliffe UK regional newspaper group is killing off many of its printed sporting publications and taking them online instead.
HoldTheFrontPage reports the Grimsby Telegraph, Lincolnshire Echo and Hull Daily Mail will close their Saturday sports papers in June, citing falling sales. The Hull paper has already launched a standalone SportHull.co.uk website while the Telegraph has rolled out the similar SportsTelegraph.co.uk and the Echo is due to launch its version next month. The Telegraph’s paper had operated for over a century but its circulation has slid from a peak of 12,000 to just 3,000.
Several other sporting titles have bitten the dust over the last couple of years, including those from the larger Manchester Evening News and Leicester Mercury. It’s a sign of the times. Soccer fans nowadays don’t have to wait for a newspaper to publish official or verified transfer news or match reports; increasingly, they’re getting their news and rumors from fan forums, their score updates via mobile phones.