Sports Illustrated’s Print Edition to Continue Under New Operator

No Content

Minute Media, owner of The Players’ Tribune, has struck a deal to operate Sports Illustrated for at least 10 years.

The owner of Sports Illustrated said it had chosen a new company to publish the magazine, a deal that could settle some of the recent friction at the storied publication and continue the print edition.

Authentic Brands Group, which owns the intellectual property rights to Sports Illustrated as well as to celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali, said it had struck a long-term deal to license Sports Illustrated’s publishing rights to Minute Media, a digital-media company focused on sports.

Minute Media’s license with Sports Illustrated will stretch for 10 years with an option to extend for up to 30 years total, into the magazine’s centenary. The companies declined to disclose financial terms but said that Authentic Brands Group was taking a stake in Minute Media as part of the deal.

The deal is a significant expansion for Minute Media, a New York-based company founded in 2011 whose holdings — which include the sports websites The Players’ Tribune and Fansided — generate more than $400 million in revenue annually.

Sports Illustrated has been engulfed in turmoil for months, the result of a corporate tug of war between the company that owns the iconic magazine and the energy drink mogul whose executives have been running it. The agreement begins immediately and effectively wrests Sports Illustrated’s operations away from Arena Group, the digital-media company that has run the magazine since 2019 and threatened to end its print edition.

It is a new chapter for Sports Illustrated, which published its first issue in 1954. Asaf Peled, the chief executive of Minute Media, said in an interview that he planned to continue Sports Illustrated’s print edition.

“In the current era of digital, it’s still not trivial and quite difficult to build your own brand and get people to know and admire it,” Mr. Peled said. “So once you get the opportunity to work with and grow an iconic brand like Sports Illustrated, you take it.”

Minute Media plans to expand the magazine’s publishing operations globally, Mr. Peled said, and to hire back some of the employees whom Arena Group had laid off. He added that he would not know how many employees would return until Minute Media started operating the business this week.

Mr. Peled said Minute Media was focused on “short-form sports content creation,” making video, audio and text for consumption on mobile devices. It owns Fansided, which features articles and podcasts for sports fans and for several years was owned by Sports Illustrated’s former publisher, Time Inc.; and Players’ Tribune, which publishes videos and essays by athletes and was founded by Derek Jeter, the Yankees Hall of Fame shortstop. Mr. Peled said he also wanted to continue Sports Illustrated’s tradition of in-depth journalism.

“It’s an exception to our core strategy, but it’s not the first time we’ve done that,” Mr. Peled said.

This post was originally published on this site

Similar Posts