Speculation about The Athletic’s future took another turn Tuesday when Axios reported that The New York Times is in discussions to acquire the subscription-based sports media company.
The Athletic was valued at around $500 million after a $50 million funding round in 2020. It also generated roughly $80 million in revenue in 2020, though it’s not profitable, per Axios.
In late March, Axios itself was reportedly in discussions with The Athletic about a possible merger. The Wall Street Journal later reported that Axios talks were off and that The Athletic was interested in doing business with The Times.
Axios said this week that once word of the potential Axios-Athletic merger leaked in March, The New York Times approached The Athletic about a possible acquisition.
Vox Media also reportedly held talks with The Athletic about a merger.
The Athletic has about 1.2 million subscribers. The New York Times has 8 million subscribers and a market cap of $7.11 billion. Its stock closed at $43.59 on Tuesday, up 3% for the day.