After making a business in delivering news with a conservative point of view, Fox Corporation is looking to do the same with sports.
More from Variety
The acquisition was unveiled by Lachlan Murdoch, the company’s CEO, during a call with investors on Wednesday. Financial terms were not disclosed. Outkick, said Murdoch, is a leader “in sports news, and more critically, sports opinion,” and is likely to align with Fox’s core audience.
Travis, a former attorney, founded the site as an extension of his work doing sports columns for CBS, Deadspin and FanHouse. He is known for outspoken, even flip, commentary, and many people who are not close followers may best know him from a CNN appearance in which he was taken off the air by anchor Brooke Baldwin after he made references to female anatomy.
And yet, his tone and knack for lending a right-leaning view to sports topics has won audiences. Since its founding, OutKick has since grown to encompass news, culture and sports wagering and has even added local and regional journalists. The company has a marketing arrangement with the sports-wagering outlet FanDuel, in which Fox Corp. is an investor through its parent company, Flutter.
Other sports-content ventures of a similar vein have grown –and quickly. Barstool Sports, a backer of unruly “hot-talk” digital sports programs, has expanded its presence in recent years. In January of last year, Penn National Gaming took a 36% interest in Barstool for approximately $163 million in cash and convertible preferred stock. Barstool has been backed by Peter Chernin, an executive who was a senior operating chief for Fox and its sibling company News Corp. between 1996 and 2009.
“Outkick has grown out of my passion for producing bold, well-informed, and entertaining content about sports, current events and, more recently, sports wagering.,” Travis said in a prepared statement. “With the power of Fox behind us, we look forward to maintaining Outkick’s unwavering commitment to that mission, as well as further accelerating the growth of our audience, and continued leadership in the sports wagering affiliate category.”
Fox said Travis’ sports radio show reaches more than 10 million monthly listeners and noted the Outkick podcast network, which launched in September, boasts more than four million monthly episode downloads. The company said approximately two-thirds of Outkick users are between the ages of 18 and 54, with more than 70% reporting household income above $50,000.
Fox plans to operate Outkick as an independent brand. Travis will serve as its president. Savage Ventures, a partner in the site, will continue having an operational role in the business.
Best of Variety