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Monday, June 24, 2024

SI Media Group Fastest-Growing U.S. Sports Media Property

Gary Cosby Jr-Imagn/Design: Alex Brooks

Sports Illustrated Media Group is now the fastest-growing sports media property in the U.S., with its number of unique visitors growing 293% year-over-year.

The sports media vertical, made up of Sports Illustrated, The Spun, FanNation, Hockey News, Morning Read, and Athlon Sports, now ranks sixth in the industry for 13+ and 18+ age groups with more than 42 million monthly users, according to Comscore.

In May 2019, Meredith Corp. sold Sports Illustrated to Authentic Brands Group for $110 million. In June of that year, ABG announced a 10-year partnership with Maven to license and operate the Sports Illustrated media business. 

Since then, SI Media Group and Maven have made a number of business moves despite pandemic-related layoffs and $30 million in reduced revenue for the latter.

  • 888 Holdings, an internet gambling operator, obtained exclusive rights to the Sports Illustrated brand for online sports and casino wagering, according to Bloomberg. 
  • On Feb. 2, Sports Illustrated began placing its “premium” content behind a paywall. Readers can read five free “premium” content pieces per month. An annual subscription costs $69.99 for a bundle of digital access and SI’s flagship magazine.
  • In June, Sports Illustrated launched SI Tix, a ticketing platform for more than 100,000 concerts, theatre, and sporting events across the world.

In June, Maven acquired digital and social sports brand The Spun for $11 million and secured $20 million in equity financing.

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