After acquiring Sports Illustrated as part of its Time Inc company purchase in January 2018, US publisher Meredith Group has announced the sale of Sports Illustrated for US$110m to Authentic Brand Group (ABG).
However the sale is for the intellectual property of the Sports Illustrated brand. Meredith will continue to publish the magazine and the SI.com website. It will pay the new owner of the brand a licensing fee for a minimum of two years.
The purchase includes SI’s associated brands including Sports Illustrated, Sports Illustrated Kids, Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, SI and SI TV.
ABG also acquires the rights to over two million iconic images as part of Sports Illustrated’s archive of owned photography.
ABG and Meredith said they are forming a strategic partnership to build a global media platform that encompasses print, digital, mobile, video, social and broadcast television.
In a statement revealing the sale, Meredith commented:
As the most-read sports magazine in the world, Sports Illustrated is an undisputed leader in journalism with a total audience of more than 120 million consumers. Its enterprise includes a fastest-growing top 10 sports website, storied print magazine, rising TV and digital platform, Emmy award-winning digital innovation and enduring franchises including Sports Illustrated Swimsuit and the nationally televised Sportsperson of the Year award ceremony. The print magazine has shaped the narrative around sports culture over the last six decades, publishing thousands of covers featuring the world’s most disruptive professional athletes including Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Serena Williams and Tiger Woods, as well as influential sports teams, celebrities and political figures.