by Elliot Dordick –
The New York Times Company announced Thursday its agreement to purchase The Athletic, a sports media company, for $550 million.
The Athletic charges a monthly subscription and provides coverage of over 200 sports clubs and teams both in the U.S. and around the world.
“Acquiring the Athletic puts us in a position to be a global leader in sports journalism and offer English speakers around the world another reason to turn to the Times Company to meet their daily news and life needs,” Meredith Kopit Levien, president and chief executive of The New York Times Company, said in the press release.
“With one of the largest dedicated teams of reporters covering sports globally and a commitment to everyday reporting, The Athletic is a great complement to the Times,” Levien said.
The New York Times has over 8 million subscribers, according to the release, and it warned in November that it could experience cancellations in the fourth quarter as it ends promotional pricing, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company’s fourth-quarter profits reportedly increased 63%, adding 455,000 new digital subscribers.
The Athletic’s founders, Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann, will remain involved after the acquisition, the NYT reported. Mather will remain the firm’s chief executive, while Hansmann will become the chief operating officer and co-president.
“We started The Athletic to bring fans closer to the teams, players and leagues they love through deep, immersive journalism and storytelling,” Mather and Hansmann said in a statement obtained by the NYT. “Today marks a thrilling milestone for that dream, one realized because of the hard work of every single one of our employees. We are proud to have The Athletic become part of the Times Company’s family of subscription products.”
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