Times titles claim 1m Olympics circulation boost

Britain’s national newspapers put on sales of around two million during the Olympics fortnight, according to internal estimates at News International.

The figures suggest that nearly half of that uplift was split between The Times and The Sunday Times.

Both papers devoted extensive editorial resources to the Games and gave over their front pages to picture-led wraps throughout the Games fortnight.

According to publisher News International, The Times’ Let the Games Begin front page of 27 July secured a sales uplift of 55,000.

The Opening Ceremony edition the following day was said to be 116,000 copies up.


The Sunday Times’ two editions following the ‘super Saturdays’ – where Mo Farah won gold in the 10,000m and 5,000m races – were said to be 86,000 and 59,000 copies up respectively.

In July, print sales of The Times dropped 8.4 per cent year on year to 404,099 and sales of the Sunday Times fell 7.5 per cent to 919,424.

Times editor James Harding said of his title’s Olympics performance: “This was always going to be a summer like no other in London – a Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Games, the Paralympics.

"We have tried to capture the moment in new and different ways, both in pictures and in words. We are, of course, enormously pleased that The Times has seen bigger increases to its sales than any of its rivals over a summer of historic events.”

The Times Olympics writing team included: Matthew Pinsent, Michael Johnson, Matthew Syed, Mike Atherton, Simon Barnes, Gabby Logan, Giles Coren and Lynne Truss.

The Times kicked off its coverage with a 56-page A4 armchair guide to the event and published a 36-page daily supplement, The Games, throughout.

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