Posts tagged with "The Athletic"

‘The New York Times’ to acquire ‘The Athletic’ for $550 million in cash

January 7, 2022

The New York Times has agreed to acquire the The Athletic in an all-cash deal—valuing the sports media startup at $550 million, a source familiar with the deal confirmed to Axios.

It’s a huge victory for The Athletic, which had been shopping a deal for months, Axios says. The subscription-based sports media company was under pressure to sell in light of how much cash it’s lost over the past two years.

The Athletic Co-Founders Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann will stay on after the deal, which was expected to be announced at market close on Thursday, January 6.

Sources told Axios in May that the Times approached The Athletic following a report about a potential deal between The Athletic and Axios in March.

The Athletic was founded six years ago and has raised around $140 million to-date. It last raised $50 million in January 2020—putting its latest valuation at around $500 million.

The company has hired hundreds of journalists across the USA and the UK to produce quality long-form journalism about sports. In recent months, it’s began experimenting with advertising and investing more in podcasts.

Like most digital media companies, The Athletic laid off staffers early on during the pandemic, but has picked up on hiring since. The company employs about 600 people

According to Axios, the deal makes sense for the Times, which is sitting on $1 billion in cash and is looking to increase its subscriber numbers.

Research contact: @axios

The Athletic halts merger talks with Axios, eyes New York Times

May 12, 2021

Sports-media outlet The Athletic is no longer in merger talks with news publisher Axios, people familiar with the situation said, but the company is continuing to pursue a deal that could expand its subscription-oriented business, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Athletic views The New York Times as a leading contender for a merger tie-up, the sources said. Such a deal would bring the Athletic’s more than one million paying subscribers to the Times, which has seen digital-news subscriptions slow since former President Donald Trump left office.

The Athletic charges $7.99 a month for sports content, including coverage of teams in all the major sports. The outlet has recruited beat reporters and columnists in local market—often by offering big pay increases to attract them from traditional news organizations.

The company competes against a host of sites that mostly offer free sports content, including The Ringer, Bleacher Report, Yahoo Sports, and ESPN.com. The Athletic was valued at $475 million in its last funding round, announced in January 2020, according to PitchBook.

The Athletic doesn’t disclose detailed financial results, including whether it is profitable. The company generated about $80 million in revenue in 2020, according to a person familiar with the matter, the Journal reports. It raised $55 million in January 2020 and has significant expenses, according to people familiar with the matter, including more than 600 employees—many of them top-tier reporters recruited from other news organizations.

Research contact: @WSJ

MLB’s revised drug policy would essentially make weed legal throughout baseball

December 11, 2019

Some players would say that it’s high time: At their winter meeting on December 9, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players’ Association reportedly agreed to remove marijuana from the list of banned substances for minor leaguers.

The agreement is set to be a part of a wider deal involving opioid use in baseball, The Athletic reported December 9, according to Fox Business News. Major league players already are not being subjected to marijuana tests, which means pot would essentially be legalized throughout professional baseball.

Minor league baseball players had previously been subjected to a 25-game suspension for the first positive marijuana test; 50 games for the second positive test; 100 games for the third positive test; and a lifetime ban for a fourth positive test.

Indeed, Fox News notes, Major League Baseball’s policy is becoming similar to that of the National Hockey League. The NHL doesn’t punish players who test positive for marijuana but would recommend treatment if a player has “abnormally high levels” of THC in his system.

In the NFL, a player who tests positive for weed the first time enters a substance abuse program. After the second positive result, he gets fined two game checks; and its four game checks after the third positive test. After the fourth, a player gets a four-game suspension; and after the fifth, a 10-game suspension. A player who tests positive for marijuana a sixth time—and it’s hard to believe that a player would continue to smoke marijuana at this point—gets a one-year suspension.

NBA players are subjected to four random tests during the regular season. A player who tests positive the first time enters a substance abuse program,; on the second, he gets a $25,000 fine, on the third positive test, he gets a five-game suspension; and five more games for each subsequent positive test.

MLB and the MLBPA are working on changes to the drug policy in the months after Los Angeles Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs‘ death. Skaggs was found to have two different opioids in his system when he was found dead at a Texas hotel on July 1 prior to an Angels’ game against the Texas Rangers.

Under new the bylaws, players would not be suspended for opioid use but would be placed into a treatment program instead.

MLB and the MLBPA have not finalized their new drug agreement yet. MLBPA head Tony Clark said recently he was optimistic the two sides can agree on the new policy by the end of 2019.

Research contact: @FoxBusiness