The National Football League is shutting down NFL Magazine after just four issues.
The NFL has ended its business relationship with Dauphin Media Group, the company it licensed to publish the monthly late last year, a league spokesman said, confirming news first reported by the Sports Business Journal on Twitter. The April issue will be the last.
Subscriptions and ad support weren't the problem, according to spokesman, who said the league might revisit a magazine of its own in the future. "The magazine was well received by fans," he said. "It was clear to us that it was a viable product."
Dauphin did not respond to an email inquiry on deadline. A voicemail box at its main number was not accepting messages.
Football has become the most popular sport in the United States and a juggernaut on TV, but it wasn't clear yet whether fans wanted a league-owned print treatment, one that might not be able to criticize the head office or star players on subjects such as concussions or bad behavior off the field. The magazine business also hasn't been particularly robust so far this year. Monthly magazines' ad pages in the issues from January through April declined 5.6% from their level during the same period last year, according to the Media Industry Newsletter.
NFL Magazine cost $4.99 on newsstands, in line with many other titles, but charged $19.99 for subscriptions, more than most other monthlies.