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Daily Sport set for free print relaunch

By Richard Wilson

After going out of business last year the Daily Sport could be set to return as the UK’s first free newspaper specialising in “sport and babes”.

The owner of the Daily Sport brand has confirmed to Press Gazette that they are in advanced talks about such a move.

The Daily Sport and Sunday Sport both ceased publication in April 2011 – their 20th year in business – when parent company Sport Media Group went into administration.

On 7 June the Daily Sport was bought by the telecoms and internet entrepreneur Grant Miller and relaunched as a website heavily geared towards sports news.

The Sunday Sport was taken over by former owner David Sullivan and was relaunched in print a month after its closure.

Miller has now confirmed that the company is in advanced talks with a number of distributors about launching a free product.

“We are still in discussions with various stockists for a relaunch as a free paper and hope to make a further announcement by the end of 2012,” he told Press Gazette.

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“Online has been phenomenally successful with free sport and babes so we’ll be looking to replicate our current success.”

The Daily Sport had a reputation as one as Britain’s raunchiest newspapers – with pictures of naked models always sprinkled liberally throughout its pages.

Front page headlines like “World War Two Bomber Found on the Moon” ensured that the Sport titles pursued a singular news agenda.

Sport Media Group, which bought the Sport titles from founder Sullivan in 2007 for £50m, cited an “insufficient recovery” for its poor sales before the papers were shut, which  lead to crisis talks with its bank.

Free newspapers and magazines have been a growing sector in recent years. Weekly free magazine Sport currently has a circulation of around 300,000 and is understood to make an annual profit in the region of £1m a year.

Last month the Evening Standard revealed that it was on course to make a profit of around £1m after changing its model from paid-for to free in 2009.

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