The New York Times snaps up The Athletic for £406m in a subscriber push
The New York Times has agreed to buy subscription sports site The Athletic in a deal valued at around $550m (£406m), according to insiders.
The deal is a major acquisition, boosting the Times’ subscribers, and has reportedly been in the works for months.
The pair held discussions earlier last year, which fell through after they were unable to reach an agreement surrounding finances and the equity of The Athletic’s employees within the company.
It comes as Times reported 8.3 million digital and print subscribers, and an ambitious goal of reaching 10 million subscribers by 2025.
According to PitchBook, The Athletic, which has more than 1.2 million subscribers, has raised around $145m (£107m) in venture funding since 2016.
However, the company is yet to turn a profit, recording a $41m (£30m) loss in 2020.
François Godard, Senior Media and Telecoms analyst at Enders Analysis, said it was nevertheless a “good move”, praising The New York Times’ shift into industry verticals.
Comparing the renowned publication to a tech company, he said: “As a tech company, they are doing what other tech companies are doing; they are buying promising young companies that will reinforce their market position.”
Godard added that the two companies have huge synergies, and doesn’t view The Athletic’s lack of profit as an “indictment”.