Sports Illustrated publisher Maven Inc. is again making headlines for the wrong reasons. After undergoing multiple rounds of staff reductions since assuming control of the sports magazine and website, Maven Inc. is now being sued by former SI owner Meredith for unpaid fees.
According to the complaint, Meredith Corp. is seeking nearly $1.1 million from Maven for transition services.
In 2019, Meredith sold Sports Illustrated to Authentic Brands Group for $110 million, who quickly reached a deal with Maven to operate the magazine in a $45 million licensing agreement. Maven then reached a “transition services agreement” with Meredith to ensure the publication would continue operating without interruption during the shift in control.
According to the lawsuit, which was shared by Alex Weprin, Meredith was providing Maven with human resources, IT services, consumer marketing, digital sales support, website support and more. The complaint states Maven did not make payments in accordance with their agreed schedule. “Instead of paying its full obligations or agreeing to a payment plan, Maven stalled and has refused to make full and timely payment as required,” the lawsuit writes.
On March 31, 2020, Meredith informed Maven their next invoice, scheduled for April 4, would bring their past due balance to $3.9 million.
Because of Maven’s failure to pay the outstanding balance, Meredith terminated their services agreement as of July 14, 2020. Although their past due balance previously reached $3.9 million, the lawsuit is for $1.1 million, reflecting the amount of money Meredith was already able to recover themselves. The $1.1 million also includes a 10% interest fee.