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Sun on Sunday: media buyers warn of readership loyalty to established sunday titles

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 19, 2012 | 3 min read

The new Sun on Sunday, replacing the News of the World is likely to have a war on its hands warn media buyers ahead of the impending launch on Sunday 26 February.

Murdoch steps up the pace

But media buying agencies warn of a price and marketing war from rival publishers, and a luke-warm response from advertisers.

Rupert Murdoch told News International staff on Friday that the replacement for News of the World would be coming "very soon".

A media buying source with knowledge of News International's plans told the Guardian there were plans for a "roadshow" to advertising agencies being put in place this week.

The insider predicted NI would rapidly launch an assault on the Sunday Mirror – one of the biggest beneficiaries of the News of the World's closure.

The belief is that the longer News International is out of the popular Sunday market, the more difficult it will be to break readers' loyalty to other titles, said the Guardian.

The News of the World closed on 10 July 2011, and it was originally thought a replacement would arrive in August for the start of the Premier League season.

But buyers have been split on the best timing to enter from an advertising point of view.

Th source told the Guardian, "It is just a matter of timing . As soon as a date emerges, rivals will show no mercy in attempting to shut Murdoch out of the market," said the source.

Originally it was thought News International would re-enter the Sunday market with a temporary cut price of 50p, and with a target sale of 1.5m copies. But this plan might have been dropped, said the Guardian

The paper said Enders Analysis estimated that the Sun on Sunday is likely to be able to make between £50m and £100m revenue, which is between about a half and two-thirds of what the News of the World was making.

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