DAZN is selling Sporting News to Pax Holdings, a Hong Kong investment firm founded and led by chairman Tom Hall, sources tell Front Office Sports.
Pax Holdings’ gaming expertise could be married to the SN brand as sports betting becomes legalized in the U.S. Hall and other Pax partners have been involved with online gaming since 2001, and have experience in sports betting, poker and virtual sports.
A DAZN spokesman confirmed the deal with Pax is done — but declined further comment.
The new owners are buying 100% of Sporting News’ U.S. operation as well as its localized editions in Canada, Australia, and Japan.
The venerable Sporting News is America’s oldest sports publication. Founded in 1886, it became known as the “Bible of Baseball.”
But it shuffled through multiple corporate owners over the last few decades. It dropped “The” from its name in 2002, then went digital-only in 2012.
DAZN first took over Sporting News through the Perform Group in 2013.
Like most media companies, DAZN’s sports streaming service was hammered by the coronavirus-caused sports shutdown this year.
DAZN was the first media group in the U.S. to tell sports leagues it would not pay rights fees for canceled or suspended games. It also canceled “ChangeUp,” an MLB whip-around show that never took off.
In September, it divested Goal.com, its soccer news website.
“These are strategic moves by DAZN to divest non-core assets as it tries to focus its efforts and resources around its streaming business,” said a source.
Editor’s note: Michael McCarthy is a former Reporter/Producer for SN.