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Sources: The Athletic Facing Changes As ‘The Well Is Running Dry’

With subscriptions plummeting and renewal rates suffering, the future of The Athletic is on shaky ground, several high-profile investors of the sports subscription website said in ongoing conversations with OutKick. “It’s been a pretty rough go lately, and I strongly suspect they will look a lot different in 2022,” one source familiar with The Athletic’s financials told OutKick. One investor sounded equally uncertain about the immediate future, telling OutKick that “a shakeup” to The Athletic’s current business strategy is likely on the way. Co-founders Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann launched The Athletic in 2016 as an ad-free website that generates its entire revenue from subscriptions. It offers both localized and national sports coverage. Multiple reports said The Athletic and news website Axios have recently held preliminary talks on a potential merger, and investors confirmed to OutKick that those talks have taken place. None, however, were willing to offer details or updates on those discussions. One source did say that without a merger or buyer, The Athletic could turn into “strictly a national media outlet” and do away with the local sites, or cut back to just one reporter in each of the current local locations. The Athletic staff consists of […]

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Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.