ICYMI: The Man Behind Netflix’s Big Spender Strategy for Content Read Now

Alex Mather. Photo by Erin Beach
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The Athletic Burned Through $95 Million Between 2019 and 2020

Photo: Alex Mather. Photo by Erin Beach

Digital sports news firm The Athletic hemorrhaged nearly $100 million cash between 2019 and 2020, according to a presentation prepared for investors, exceeding the $73 million in revenue the company brought in over that same period.

The heavy losses reflect primarily the cost of building up a 600-person–strong reporting staff to cover local sports in both the U.S. and Britain, said a person familiar with the situation. And it shows the challenge for digital media firms of building profitable businesses while investing heavily in content to draw subscribers. That’s an issue video streaming services such as Netflix have also struggled with.

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