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New York Times Finalises $550 Million The Athletic Purchase


The New York Times has reportedly finalised a deal to purchase sports news platform, The Athletic, for USD$550 million (AUD$767 million), looking to expand its subscriber base to beyond 10 million by 2025.

The Athletic brings with it 1.2 million subscribers and will continue to operate as a standalone site to the New York Times, which as of Q3 2021, sat around 8.4 million subscribers.

New York Times Company CEO, Meredith Kopit Levien, said the acquisition would see the company expand its sports coverage as part of its broader bundle of publications.

“We are now in pursuit of a goal meaningfully larger than 10 million subscriptions and believe The Athletic will enable us to expand our addressable market of potential subscribers,” Levien said.

The Athletic, which has more than 400 editorial employees after being founded in 2016 by Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann, focuses on US national and local sports and reported an operating loss of USD$55 million (AUD$76 million) in 2021 with a USD$65 million (AUD$90 million) in revenue.

Mather and Hansmann, who currently serve as co-presidents, general manager and chief operating officer, respectively, will remain in their current roles at The Athletic, with The New York Times head of standalone products, David Perpich, to lead the top-line of the organisation.

It was also reported the Times attempted to purchase The Athletic early in 2021, before the deal broke down after the Times offered a price reported to be too low for The Athletic, leading to the company bringing in Liontree to run a formal acquisition process.

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