The New York Times Company to Acquire The Athletic

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire The Athletic, the global digital subscription-based sports media business that provides national and local coverage of more than 200 clubs and teams in the U.S. and around the world, for an all cash purchase price of $550 million, subject to customary closing adjustments. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

Meredith Kopit Levien, president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company, said, “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. The Times already provides distinctive sports coverage for a general interest audience as part of our core report. As a stand-alone product, The Athletic will enable us to offer much more — extensive coverage for fans who seek a deep connection to and understanding of their favorite teams, leagues and players. 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.”

The Times has been rapidly growing its consumer subscription business, doubling to over 8 million paid subscriptions across digital and print products in the last three years.

The Athletic is currently expected to be immediately accretive to The New York Times Company’s revenue growth rate. The Times Company expects the acquisition will be dilutive to The New York Times Company’s operating profit for approximately three years, as it scales subscriptions and builds an advertising business, and accretive thereafter.

The Athletic was founded in January 2016 by Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann, with the goal of providing smarter sports coverage for devoted fans through a subscription model. As of December 2021, the site had grown to 1.2 million subscribers.
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