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Sports daily to launch in the UAE

A new free newspaper dedicated to sport is set to hit the streets of Dubai, which is hoped will be a test ground for rolling the title out around the world, Campaign can reveal.

A new free newspaper dedicated to sport is set to hit the streets of Dubai, which is hoped will be a test ground for rolling the title out around the world, Campaign can reveal.

The English language tabloid, called Sport100, is due out on Wednesday and will be published six days a week with an initial print run of 30,000.

The paper is the brainchild of Ashley Northcote, founder of daily freesheet 7Days in Dubai, who previously worked for Metro International, the company that successfully introduced free daily newspapers to cities across the world.

Northcote, managing director of the newly formed Pure Media, refused to disclose who was backing the paper, describing them only as “large experienced UK investors”.

The paper’s editorial and layout will be produced in the UK and sent electronically to Dubai for printing, with presses being able to run as late as 2.30am in order to accommodate late sports results from Europe.

“The ambition is to have a product that will have the opportunity to go into other markets. There are huge economies of scale in producing a newspaper like this. It is very much an international product,” Northcote said.

The newspaper has already received interest from publishers in other countries, including Hong Kong, according to Northcote.

He added: “We are convinced that there exists a huge market for a sport-focused publication that provides bite-sized pieces of information to people seeking a quick update on the latest world sports events and news. We are confident that this initiative, a first for the region, will be a tremendous success.”

The 24-page paper is being targeted at 15 to 45-year-olds and is expected to be popular with men. Sports featured will include cricket, football, rugby, tennis, golf, horse racing, athletics and motor sport, as well as sport lifestyle features.

Ad sales for Sport100 are being handled by Adline in Dubai and Northcote claims that advertisers have reacted positively to the newspaper.

“Sport100 is our response to local demand for high-quality and relevant content about events that are largely ignored by mainstream local media,” Northcote said.

He said an application to be audited by BPA Worldwide would be lodged “as soon as we can”.

Distribution is being managed by a subsidiary of Blue Truck. The paper will be hand-delivered to selected residential homes across the city as well as being made available on stands. The tabloid has partnered with Getty Images to feature action pictures.

Talking about the Sport100 editorial team, Northcote said: “We have developed a strong network of correspondents around the globe and some of the most respected names in sports journalism to present ground-breaking reportage.”

A dummy seen by Campaign includes mainly bylines of Press Association journalists.

The launch has been timed to coincide with the World Cup finals, and the accompanying Sport100 website has secured the rights to broadcast live commentary over the web.

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