ARN sells The Roar to Athletes Voice for undisclosed sum

Australian Radio Network (ARN) has sold off its sporting content platform The Roar to Athletes Voice.

The sale, for an undisclosed sum, comes as ARN and its parent company Here, There and Everywhere (HT&E) increasingly divest from non-audio assets.

The Roar is changing hands

HT&E – then APN News and Media – bought The Roar’s parent company Conversant Media for upfront cash consideration of $11.6m and performance based earn-outs back in 2016. This included publications Lost at E Minor and Techly, which have subsequently been shut down.

HT&E also offloaded its outdoor street furniture business Adshel to Ooh Media following a bidding war between Australia’s outdoor giants last year, and shuttered Gfinity Esports this August.

HT&E’s CEO Ciaran Davis has flagged that the future of ARN – and indeed HT&E more generally – is audio.

“Obviously [after] the sale of Adshel last year, we spent a bit of time refocusing in terms of ‘Where to next for us’. We sold the business at a very good time, realised a lot of shareholder value that we knew was within the business. Previous to that, we were looking at other areas like esports and expanding out, but I think we also felt like we had such a cracking business in ARN, and that audio is in a renaissance period,” he told Mumbrella back in August, noting the proliferation of audio options including podcasting and streaming was actually complimenting, rather than cannibalising, radio.

Davis: ‘We have a cracking business in ARN’

“And the basis of what we’re doing is using the strength of our broadcast assets to build out a much more complete audio offering for listeners and for advertisers. And the extension of iHeartRadio was a key thing for us, because we believe that’s our competitive advantage. We believe that we’re the only audio company in Australia who can deliver that piece of integrated content, where we can push and pull listeners based on their choices and interests into radio, into podcasting, into streaming, into artists’ radio.”

ARN’s COO Michael Harvey echoed that sentiment with today’s statement about the sale of The Roar, saying the company is focusing on defining audio.

“ARN is focusing on Defining Audio in Australia and as part of a recent strategic review, the opportunity arose to align The Roar, an iconic, trusted and vibrant brand in Australia with AthletesVoice, which has fast become the most valued, trusted and awarded source of athlete content. Together they represent the most unique, engaging and trusted sports content proposition in Australia. We look forward to the ongoing success of The Roar as it becomes part of Athletes Voice,” he said.

Athletes Voice CEO Kerry McCabe added: “Over the past two-years we’ve built a platform that successfully brings athletes and brands together to win ‘off the pitch’. We are proud of the voice we have given to athletes, helping them to realise their individual potential as a powerful media and marketing channel. It now makes sense to add Australia’s unique fan platform to our commercial offering in order to fully represent and serve both athletes and sports lovers – the two most valuable assets in sport.”

Athletes Voice is the renamed Players Voice, which won Media Brand of the Year at this year’s Mumbrella Awards.


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