The Athletic cruised through cash between 2019 and 2020 amidst a hiring spree that required more spending. According to The Information, The Athletic spent almost $100 million in cash while bringing in $73 million of revenue during the same period.
The Athletic is running into similar issues that Netflix faced as it tried to create its own content. The subscription-based sports coverage site attributed the negative financial report to its staff build-up. A source told The Information that amassing a staff of roughly 600 people was the big reason for operating at a loss.
The near-future projections are much brighter for the publication. The Athletics projects a revenue rise of 64%, bringing the 2021 total to $77 million, while its cash burn drops to $35 million. That cash burn projects to fall off dramatically next year to around $7 million.
The company projects itself to be profitable in 2023 with a revenue projection of $153 million. A statement from The Athletic said it was “materially affected” by Covid through the first half of 2021. But growth returned to 2019 levels, and “we are excited to have finally turned the corner,” adding it expects a “nearly profitable business in 2022.”
All of this should help The Athletic in its quest to find a buyer. The Information also previously reported that they tapped LionTree to help them find a buyer. Acquisition talks with the New York Times and Axios flamed out earlier this year.
The Athletic projects to have 1.2 million subscribers by the end of this year; 75% are annual subscribers. Those are the most valuable customers in a subscription based service because it reduces the likelihood of a volatile subscription churn from month to month.
After building up the foundation over the past few years, The Athletic is ready to forge ahead towards stability.
Darren Rovell Signs Extension With Action Network
“The trajectory of growth in this industry over the last three years has been incredible and I’m thrilled to be a part of this ride.”
Darren Rovell has been at The Action Network since he left ESPN in 2018, and it appears that he isn’t going anywhere else anytime soon.
Rovell wrote an article on the company’s website discussing all of the reasons that he felt staying with the network was the right move for him.
“Over the past couple months, as my original deal with The Action Network was coming to a close, I was confronted with the choice of whether to return or to take my brand to one of those cushy sportsbook deals,” said Rovell. “At The Action Network, I am surrounded by a team that is uniquely talented at executing best-in-class data-driven sports betting content with such aplomb. Combine that with the resources given to us thanks to our acquisition by Better Collective this past year and I felt it would be virtually impossible to build the structure we have here anywhere else.”
The details of how long Rovell will agree to continue to be at the network are unclear at this point. It seems that Rovell is content doing exactly what he has been at The Action Network.
“You can count on me to continue to tell you what’s happening at the sportsbooks, to report the big bets and the bettors making them and to keep you updated on anything topical that could count as gambling these days from sports memorabilia to NFTs,” he added.
ESPN To Celebrate Dick Vitale During 2021 V Week
“Raising funds for cancer research is a long-standing tradition at ESPN.”
ESPN’s 15th annual V Week for cancer research and awareness begins today, and ESPN has a whole bunch of promotions in store for the special event.
ESPN is launching the Campaign for a Cause: ESPN and the V Foundation x StockX, which allows fans to have a chance to win celebrity sneakers and memorabilia during V Week through StockX’s Campaign for a Cause benefiting the V Foundation.
Celebrities involved in the campaign include Drake, Kevin Durant, Mike Krzyzewski, Nyjah Huston, Naomi Osaka, and more.
A new addition to V Week is is the development of #VStrongBaby to show support for ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who returned to call his first game of the men’s college basketball season last Tuesday after being diagnosed with lymphoma in October. The hashtag is accompanied by a customized heart emoji in honor of the legendary commentator, which ESPN will feature throughout V Week.
ESPN also continues on in funding the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund, which continues to address health inequities that exist in cancer.
“The ongoing pandemic has continued to disrupt the critical need to fundraise for cancer research and address the health disparities impacting people of color in their fight against cancer,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president of ESPN Corporate Citizenship. “Raising funds for cancer research is a long-standing tradition at ESPN, and we are committed to continuing our work to close the gap in cancer disparities experienced by patients of minority populations and improve their outcomes.”
Along with these traditions, the Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s classics take place next week. The Men’s Classics begin Tuesday, December 7, followed by the Women’s Classics on Sunday, December 12, all airing live on ESPN.
Since the V Foundation’s inception in 1993, ESPN has helped raise more than $142 million in the fight to end cancer. Direct donations can be made at www.v.org/donate.
Outkick Planning Live Pregame Show For Georgia vs Alabama
Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton and Jill Savage will host the show, with Clay Travis joining in periodically throughout the show.
Alabama versus Georgia is sure to be the talk of the college football world this week. The game will have huge implications on the College Football Playoff selection the following day.
Outkick has announced that it will be covering the SEC Championship Game this Saturday with its own live show from Atlanta.
Kickoff for the actual game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Eastern. But you can get a head start with Clay Travis and OutKick the Tailgate pregame show long before that, with their broadcast starting at 1:30 EST.
Chad Withrow, Jonathan Hutton and Jill Savage will host the show, with Clay Travis joining in periodically throughout.
The Outkick the Tailgate pregame show will be taking place live in Atlanta, Georgia at STATS Brewpub not far from the game taking place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Those who are in attendance for the live show can enter for a chance to win merchandise autographed by Alabama coach Nick Saban and receive other prizes as well.
Those who cannot be in attendance can watch via live stream either on the Outkick Youtube channel or on Twitter where full coverage of the pregame show will be aired. It will also be aired on the Outkick website.
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