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By William Turvill, PressGazette

The New York Times Company has agreed a $550m deal to buy sports news business the Athletic.

The deal, which is expected to complete in the first quarter of this year, will bring together two of the world’s largest news subscription businesses.

Meredith Kopit Levien, chief executive of the Times, said the acquisition will help her company surpass its goal of 10m digital subscriptions.

According to Press Gazette’s 100k Club ranking, the Athletic – founded in 2016 – is already the fifth largest news subscription business in the English-language world. It employs roughly 450 journalists who create in-depth sports content in the US, Canada, UK and Europe.

Despite the Athletic’s strong subscription numbers, the sports news company is loss-making. Kopit Levien said the Athletic had operating losses of around $55m in 2021 on $65m of revenue.

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