We’ve been wondering what the future holds for Fansided for months now, dating back to Authentic Brands Group’s purchase of Sports Illustrated last May. Fansided wasn’t part of that deal. Last June, it was reported that Meredith (the purchaser and former owner of both SI and Fansided) was looking for $30 million in a Fansided sale and that bids were due that month. That deadline came and went without a sale, but over half a year later, we have a buyer: Minute Media, which bought both The Big Lead and The Players’ Tribune in 2019.
The sale price was not disclosed, and Minute Media founder and CEO Asaf Peled dropped a whole bunch of buzzwords and corporate speak without saying much of substance in a press release.
“FanSided’s approach to community and fandom is a perfect complement to Minute Media’s existing properties. FanSided, combined with The Players’ Tribune’s athlete-perspective, provides our readers, partners and advertisers with what we believe to be the most well-rounded and holistic sports digital offering,” said Asaf Peled, Founder and CEO of Minute Media. “We are excited to welcome the FanSided team to the Minute Media family.”
“Minute Media will continue to be bullish on the M&A front, bringing premium publishing brands into our portfolio through acquisitions, powering their growth through our proprietary end-to-end publishing platform,” said Peled.
Fansided has had a relatively quiet past couple of years after running into numerous issues over a tumultuous six month period in late 2016/early 2017. Two writers (that we know of) were fired for plagiarism, and former adult film star Mia Khalifa was hired as a columnist and immediately got into an embarrassing fight with “Burt Gertson,” a fake columnist at Fansided that the site claimed was real.
Earlier this month, Fansided responded to California’s new AB5 independent contractor law, changing the roles of many staffers while also adding both full and part time positions.
Minute’s three new sports acquisitions are all vastly different, and as time goes on, we’ll need to keep an eye on whether or not they remain separate, distinct entities, or if they all start to resemble one another.