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The Players’ Tribune eyes possible sale to Minute Media

Athlete-focused digital media outfit The Players’ Tribune is in talks to sell to fellow digital content company Minute Media, according to a Bloomberg report.

The companies are said to be in exclusive negotiations, though there is no guarantee of a deal. The Players’ Tribune, co-founded by former New York Yankees star and current Miami Marlins chief executive and co-owner Derek Jeter, has been exploring a sale for some time, and reportedly has yet to turn a profit. 

The website has had some viral hits, most notably the Dear Basketball poem written by former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant on his retirement, which won an Oscar as an animated short film in 2017. But it has struggled to draw consistent web traffic in between these spikes.

Minute Media’s holdings include soccer specific-site 90min.com, general sports destinations 12UP.com and The Big Lead, and esports content property Dbltap, among others, and the company typically ranks among the top 10 most heavily trafficked US sports digital properties.

The Players’ Tribune has raised $58m in investment since its founding, most recently $40m in Series C funding in January 2017. Co-founder Jaymee Messler left the company earlier this year while eight staff members were laid off in January.