The New York Times Company to Acquire the Athletic for $550 Million

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After on-again, off-again conversations of the two companies, the New York Times Company has agreed to acquire digital sports media brand The Athletic for $550 million in cash.

It was said that this was sealed despite ongoing losses at The Athletic. The startup had $47 million in revenue in 2020 while it burned through $41 million.

The New York Times Co. has confirmed its acquisition of the digital sports outlet The Athletic for $550 million in cash.

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This deal of the two companies brings The Times, which has more than eight million total subscriptions, on its way closer to its goal of having 10 million subscriptions by 2025. While also offering its audience more in-depth coverage of the more than 200 professional teams in North America, Britain, and Europe that are closely followed by The Athletic’s journalists.

Meredith Kopit Levien, the chief executive of the New York Times Company, called The Athletic “a great complement to The Times.”

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The Athletic, founded in 2016, has a collective 1.2 million subscriptions by looking to leverage the expertise of editorial staffers cut loose by faltering local newspapers around the country. For the Times, the aggressive M&A move is seen as a way to boost its prospects of reaching a goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025.

“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,” CEO Meredith Kopit Levien said in the deal announcement. She described The Athletic as a “stand-alone product” that will be “a great compliment” to the “distinctive sports coverage” of the company’s main flagship.

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