Kenya now has two dedicated sports newspapers courtesy of the Standard Group and Nation Media Group. The publications are the first of their kind in Kenya, previously sports coverage being part of the daily newspapers either in the back pages or in pullouts.
Standard Group was the first to launch their sports newspaper Game Yetu in November last year. It was perhaps inevitable that the Nation Media Group would follow suit with its own sports publication Sporton! launched on January 17th, 2013.
PRINT vs INTERNET
Kenyans are known to be sports lovers with football being the most followed sport in the country but the summarised sports reports in the back pages of the newspapers haven’t been offering sports fans enough so most of them have turned to the internet to look for more comprehensive content.
Both Game Yetu and Sporton are now looking to tap into the emotions generated by sport and close the gap as far as exclusive and analytical sport content is concerned.
Looking at the content of the publications not surprisingly European football dominates since it is very popular with Kenyans, more so than Kenyan football, but other sports are also covered.
The Standard’s Game Yetu has been received well if its Facebook page is anything to go by. It’s too early to know how Sporton is performing since it’s still very new in the market.
WILL THE SPORTS NEWSPAPERS LAST?
The Kenya Forum wonders though if the new sports publications are here to stay in a time when internet access is growing rapidly and more Kenyans are accessing the internet for content with sports being one of the dominating subjects being searched for.
Both sports newspapers are selling at Ksh. 30 and there must be some doubt whether the common mwananchi would pay that amount for a sports newspaper paper in a country where the average wage is under Ksh 200 a day.
On the other side of the coin is the question of whether middle class Kenyans would buy the papers since the majority of them have an easier option which is the internet where they can get a vast amount of information on the sport of interest.
Whether or not Game Yetu and Sporton are here to stay only time will tell, the match is in its early stages. Unlike football it could be a game that both sides lose!