It’s been just over a year since The New York Times bought The Athletic in an all-cash deal that cost $550 million. So far, the acquisition has cost The Times money, but things are slowly turning around.
The company posted an article about its fourth quarter on Wednesday. While things look relatively well company-wide, The Athletic had an operating loss of $6.9 million in the quarter and lost about $36 million since the NYT took over. However, that’s an improvement for The Athletic compared to the year before the acquisition.
In The Times’s article:
The Athletic, which The Times bought for $550 million, continued to lose money, with an adjusted operating loss of $6.9 million in the fourth quarter. It has lost about $36 million since the acquisition. In 2021, before The Times acquired it, The Athletic lost $55 million. It generated $85.7 million in revenue in 2022, up from about $65 million the year before.
While the operating losses will attract the most attention, it’s important to note that the number shrunk by a third since The Times took over. The Athletic is (hopefully) a long-term asset for the company, so if that trend continues, the sports-centric outlet will be operating at a profit within five years. If that’s the case, then their initial losses won’t be as much of a big deal.
The article noted that nearly a million subscribers from The Athletic came into the NYT fold when the acquisition took place. That, in addition to another million digital-only subscribers, puts The New York Times’ number of paying subscribers at 9.6 million. Their goal is to have 15 million subscribers by the end of 2027.