The rumored acquisition of The Athletic by The New York Times has seemingly been a “Will they or won’t they?” kind of story. Like a TV couple who are in love but haven’t realized it, the potential marriage between the two media outlets have heated up and cooled off over the past seven months. Now it appears things are getting serious and The New York Times might be ready to put a ring on it.
According to Dylan Byers at Puck, The New York Times entered exclusive negotiations with The Athletic about a potential sale. This came off the heels of a report from Front Office Sports a few days ago that indicated the two parties were negotiating once again after talks had cooled off for nearly six months.
In the report, co-founder Alex Mather turned down an interview request and NYT spokesperson Eileen Murphy declined comment. While there is a caveat about how this isn’t a done deal and things could end without the two sides agreeing to a deal, the fact that they have entered exclusive negotiations and have gotten this far shows a level of progress and an indication that things are getting serious.
It remains to be seen what will happen with The Athletic and The New York Times and whether or not a deal can be completed. It’s not likely The Athletic will be panicking if a deal can’t get done this time but it would be realistic to believe that there could be a little more urgency to find a buyer if things fall apart here.