MEDIA: Live & Kicking mag survives show

Live & Kicking magazine, BBC Worldwide's tie-in with the Saturday

morning kids TV show, is to survive - despite the axing of the programme

from which it gets its name.



News that the Live & Kicking TV series will not be recommissioned at the

end of its current run came hot on the heels of a substantial drop in

the title's year-on-year circulation.



Although no section of the teenage market was hit harder by falling

sales than pop magazines, all of which lost ground in the latest ABC

figures, Live & Kicking's circulation fell almost a third to

116,200.



The BBC, which has this week denied speculation that it plans to float

any of its magazine arm, has already decided to ditch Match of the Day

magazine, another TV tie-in. Ironically, the football show itself,

despite the loss of highlights rights, will remain in some form next

season.



A spokesman explained: 'Live & Kicking magazine, unlike Match of the

Day, is very successful and we'll continue with it while that is the

case.' Match of the Day's circulation had fallen by more than a quarter

to 54,000.



Live & Kicking magazine, launched in 1993, had a younger audience than

the programme, the spokesman added. 'It is different in many ways.

Although the programme is off the air each summer, there hasn't been a

drop-off in sales (at that time).'



Of its closest competitors, TV Hits was relatively stable, and Smash

Hits eight per cent down. Stablemate Top of the Pops fell 17 per cent

but leads the teenage pop market with sales of 305,100.



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