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The Athletic Blew Through Nearly $100 Million In 2019 and 2020

“The company projects itself to be profitable in 2023 with a revenue projection of $153 million.”

Russ Heltman

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Courtesy: The Athletic

The Athletic cruised through cash between 2019 and 2020 amidst a hiring spree that required more spending. According to The Information, The Athletic spent almost $100 million in cash while bringing in $73 million of revenue during the same period.

The Athletic is running into similar issues that Netflix faced as it tried to create its own content. The subscription-based sports coverage site attributed the negative financial report to its staff build-up. A source told The Information that amassing a staff of roughly 600 people was the big reason for operating at a loss.

The near-future projections are much brighter for the publication. The Athletics projects a revenue rise of 64%, bringing the 2021 total to $77 million, while its cash burn drops to $35 million. That cash burn projects to fall off dramatically next year to around $7 million.

The company projects itself to be profitable in 2023 with a revenue projection of $153 million. A statement from The Athletic said it was “materially affected” by Covid through the first half of 2021. But growth returned to 2019 levels, and “we are excited to have finally turned the corner,” adding it expects a “nearly profitable business in 2022.”

All of this should help The Athletic in its quest to find a buyer. The Information also previously reported that they tapped LionTree to help them find a buyer. Acquisition talks with the New York Times and Axios flamed out earlier this year.

The Athletic projects to have 1.2 million subscribers by the end of this year; 75% are annual subscribers. Those are the most valuable customers in a subscription based service because it reduces the likelihood of a volatile subscription churn from month to month.

After building up the foundation over the past few years, The Athletic is ready to forge ahead towards stability.

Sports Online

Michael Kay: Vin Scully Was ‘A Gift From The Gods’

“No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

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As sports media figures continue to mourn the passing of Vin Scully, Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay penned a special op-ed to Scully in The New York Post.

Kay noted the sheer length of Scully’s career — pointing out he announced games for Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges just as he did for Clayton Kershaw — and how his style “transcended generations”.

“If you listen to how some called a game in the 50s, you can question if they would even be hired by today’s execs or, more importantly, accepted by today’s audience,” Kay said. “Scully was just as good and relevant in 2016 as he was in 1950. There is an incredible genius to that accomplishment.”

The two baseball broadcasters both graduated from Fordham University, which Kay said bonded them after they were introduced to one another in 1999 by Scully’s friend Keith Olbermann.

Kay also echoed a sentiment shared by many the day following Scully’s passing: that he was the greatest sports broadcaster of all time.

“In an era of hot takes where debate shows argue about the greatest this and the greatest that, there is no debate that Scully is simply the greatest sports broadcaster who ever lived,” Kay definitively said. “No one can come close to his talent and his ability to communicate so easily with his audience.”

He later added Scully’s ability “was a gift from the Gods. A lovely, soft, easy voice and a disarming manner that made him sound like a friend and not an authority figure giving you the score.”

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Sports Online

NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt Will Host Podcast With Omaha Productions

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

Jordan Bondurant

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You’ll soon be able to hear NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt on your favorite podcast platform.

Brandt, who co-hosts Good Morning Football, signed on with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions according to Adam Schefter.

Among other duties, Brandt will be hosting a podcast distributed by ESPN called Kyle Brandt’s Basement.

“I’m thrilled about this show, and I’ll be shot out of a cannon every single day,” said Brandt. “It’s in my own basement and I’ve got games, toys and takes. I can promise one thing: it will not be boring.”

Caesars Sportsbook will be supply all betting lines for Brandt’s show. Caesars will also present Brandt’s weekly gambling segment Caesars Picks: This Time It’s Personal where Brandt will risk his own personal items around his basement when picking games based on Caesars Sportsbook spreads.

Brandt’s show joins a lineup of six other podcasts originally announced back in June.

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Sports Online

DirecTV Strikes Deal with Amazon to Carry Thursday Night Football in Bars and Restaurants

. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so.

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DirecTV Amazon

This season, Thursday Night Football moves over to Amazon’s streaming service for the first time. That might be good for consumers at home, but that left a drastic issue still with bars and restaurants carrying the games.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Amazon has agreed to allow DirecTV co carry its games to bars and restaurants. Owners were being faced with the choice of having to upgrade their video systems to handle streaming video. Some are not currently equipped to do so. Some establishments that have upgraded their equipment recently have run into issues syncing the video to go to different televisions from the stream.

DirecTV is also entering its last season with NFL Sunday Ticket.

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