April 24, 2024

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The print edition of Sports Illustrated continues after dealing with Minute Media

The print edition of Sports Illustrated continues after dealing with Minute Media


The print edition of Sports Illustrated exists.

Authentic Brands Group on Monday reportedly agreed to a deal with Minute Media, ending a months-long dispute with former publisher Arena Group, which threatened to stop printing the popular magazine if it did not obtain the license.

Minute Media, the New York-based digital sports media brand whose holdings include the Players' Tribune and Fanside, will sell a stake in the company to Jamie Salter's Authentic as part of a 10-year deal. According to the New York Times.

The print edition of Sports Illustrated will continue thanks to a new buyer of the magazine's licensing rights. Bill Frakes/Sports Illustrated

Assaf Peled, CEO of Minute Media, confirmed that fans of the magazine, which has set the standards of sports journalism since its founding in 1954, will still be able to find it on newsstands.

“In today’s digital age, it is still not easy and very difficult to build your own brand and have people know and like it,” Peled told The Times.

“So once you have the opportunity to work with and grow an iconic brand like Sports Illustrated, you take it.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal between Minute Media and Authentic Brands, which bought SI for $110 million from Meredith five years ago, includes an option to extend the agreement for up to 30 years in total, the Times reported.

Peled also told The Times that his company plans to expand SI's coverage globally and rehire some employees who were scheduled to be fired by Arena.

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In January, most of SI's employees were laid off by parent company Arena Group after it missed a $3.75 million quarterly payment, violating its licensing agreement with Authentic Brands. Zomapress.com

Minute Media will start SI and its website this week, Peled said.

Arena Group, whose license was revoked in January after it refused to make a $3.75 million quarterly payment, threatened to kill the print edition after Authentic Brands indicated it was leaning toward awarding the rights to a competitor, The Post reported last week.

Arena's largest shareholder, energy drink tycoon Manoj Bhargava, sought to renegotiate the remaining three years on the original $150 million, 10-year deal with Salter.

Authentic Brands has sold the licensing rights to Minute Media, led by CEO Asaf Peled. LinkedIn/Assaf Peled

“Jimmy doesn’t react well to threats,” a source close to the situation told The Post on Monday.

“Maybe Jimmy doesn't trust me [Bhargava]. It is possible that Manoj will come back in two years and break the contract again.”

Arena, which has been publishing the magazine and SI website while seeking a new deal, could be on the hook for a $45 million termination fee.

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