Israeli company Minute Media is interested in acquiring the license to publish Sports Illustrated, which is on the brink of closure. Minute Media declined to respond to Calcalist’s inquiry on the matter.
Minute Media announced last week that it acquired STN Video, a leading North American sports content distributor. The value of the deal was not revealed by the companies, but is estimated at around $150 million. Minute Media raised around $100 million in debt and equity from HSBC Innovation Banking and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock at a valuation of over $1 billion in order to help fund the deal.
Nearly all Sports Illustrated staff received layoff notices this month from the Arena Group, a publishing company, which acquired a license to the magazine right’s from owner Authentic Brands. The move came on the back of a multimillion-dollar dispute between both parties, with Arena Group failing to make a $3.75 million quarterly payment to the group. Sports Illustrated has been in publication since 1954.
According to the New York Post, Minute Media could face competition from Jeff Zucker-backed news site Front Office Sports, as well as Penske Media and Essence.
According to Minute Media, it reaches 200 million monthly users, powering over 1,500 content creators and over 250 distribution partners across 14 global markets in 10 languages. Minute Media, which owns leading sports content brands, The Players’ Tribune, FanSided and 90min, has offices in New York, London, Tel-Aviv, São Paulo and Tokyo. It employs 480 people, including 170 in Israel, and has raised around $300 million to date.