Good Sports: Headline-makers from the world of sports and sports television examine the impact of digital media and around-the-clock access on the economics and strategies of the modern-day sports business.
Mr. David Hill has been a Senior Executive Vice-President of News Corp. since July 2012. Mr. Hill serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Sports Media Group (FSMG), at Fox Cable Network Inc. Mr. Hill serves as an Advisor of DirecTV Group Inc. He serves as the President of Fox Sports Networks Inc. He serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Arrow Dynamics, Inc. He serves as an Executive Officer of Fox Networks Group.
He served as the President of DIRECTV Entertainment Group, an operating group of DirecTV Group Inc., and was responsible for all its aspects that define the content and consumer viewing experience. Mr. Hill served as the North American Regional Controller for NuSkin International, inc. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Sportsnuts Inc.
Prior to joining DIRECTV in April 2005, Mr. Hill served as Chief Executive Officer of Fox Sports Television Group at Fox Entertainment Group, Inc., since June 1999, served as the Chairman and Chief executive Officer of Fox from 1997 to 1999. Mr. Hill joined Fox Broadcasting Company in December 1993, and served as President of Fox Sports, a Division of Fox Television, from 1993 to 1999 and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Sports Networks from 1996 to 1997. From 1996 to 1997, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Fox Television and was chiefly responsible for the creation of its powerful sports broadcasting division including Fox Sports Net.
He has five years of auditing and accounting experience with Deloitte & Touche, serving clients in the banking, manufacturing, and retail industries. Mr. Hill has been Chairman of Fox Sports Networks Inc. since 1996. He has been a Director of OPEN Sports Network Inc., since July 2009. He serves as Director of Fox Sports Media Group (FSMG). He served as a Director of STATS LLC since March 31, 2009. He served as Director of Fox Sports Television Group.
He was named outstanding accounting student of the year by the Utah Association of Certified Public Accountants. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, receiving the highest score in the State of Utah on the Certified Public Accountant exam. Mr. Hill holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University, graduating summa cum laude.
David Levy is president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. In this role, Levy oversees all advertising sales and distribution for Turnerâ€™s portfolio of U.S. networks and digital properties, as well as oversight of Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE). As president of Turner Sports, Levy is responsible for overseeing the companyâ€™s sports programming acquisitions, production, marketing, league relations and sports ad sales unit. Levy is based in New York and reports to Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of TBS, Inc.
Under Levyâ€™s leadership, Turner ad sales has continually outperformed the marketplace during the annual television upfront, achieving broadcast parity CPMs for the companyâ€™s domestic news (CNN and HLN), entertainment (TBS, TNT, and truTV), animation and young adult (Cartoon Network and Adult Swim) portfolio. The division is continually recognized for its creativity in developing innovative, integrated, sponsorship ideas across multiple platforms.
As president of Turner Sports, Levy has been instrumental in deepening and expanding Turnerâ€™s programming relationships, while embarking on an aggressive expansion of digital rights and properties. Turnerâ€™s digital sports portfolio includes NBA Digital, NASCAR.COM, NCAA Digital, PGATOUR.COM and PGA.com. Additionally, Turner has a strategic content and sales relationship with Yahoo! Sports.
In 2010, Levy was instrumental in orchestrating a landmark deal, partnering with CBS, for the television, Internet, wireless, marketing and corporate sponsorship rights to the NCAA Division I Menâ€™s Basketball Championship through 2024. Beginning in 2016, the Final Four and National Championship Game will air on TBS. The agreement also includes Turnerâ€™s operational oversight of NCAA March MadnessÂ® on Demand (MMOD) on broadband, as well as March Madness mobile assets. Additionally, in a separate agreement, Turner secured a deal to manage NCAA Digital â€“ which includes NCAA.com and its 88 NCAA Championships, as well as management of ad sales for its digital platforms.
In January of 2008, Levy led the companyâ€™s efforts in developing a ground-breaking expansion of the longest-running league/network programming partnership in professional sports, with Turner assuming joint management of an array of the NBAâ€™s digital businesses including NBA-TV, NBA.com, WNBA.com, NBADLeague.com and NBA League Pass.
In the summer of 2007, Levy led the efforts to extend Turnerâ€™s television partnership with the NBA through the 2015-2016 season. TNT airs exclusive Thursday night doubleheaders during the NBA regular season and has exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend, which includes the leagueâ€™s annual All-Star Game. Additionally, TNT airs up to 52 NBA playoff games, including exclusive coverage of a Conference Final (which alternates between East and West each year).
In 2009, Levy extended broadcast rights to the PGA Championship and PGA Grand Slam of Golf through 2019. The new agreement with the PGA of America expanded to include licensing, with Turnerâ€™s Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) serving as the PGAâ€™s licensing agent in the youth marketplace.
In 2006, Levy led Turnerâ€™s efforts in acquiring exclusive broadcast rights to Major League Baseballâ€™s Division Series and League Championship Series (the network alternates between the National League Championship and American League Championship Series with Fox each year).
Levy was also responsible for bolstering Turnerâ€™s on-air talent roster that includes Ernie Johnson, Jr., Charles Barkley, Marv Albert, and Kenny Smith. Levy was responsible for adding Reggie Miller, Steve Kerr, Ron Darling, John Smoltz, Kyle Petty, Chris Webber and Shaquille Oâ€™Neal to Turnerâ€™s lineup of sports talent.
Levy added to his many industry honors in 2010 when he and Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin shared the top spot on the MediaWeek 50 list, which recognized the industryâ€™s most indispensable executives. Additionally, Levy was selected as a 2010 AdvertisingAge â€œMedia Maven,â€ and last year he received a â€œBrand Builderâ€ award from PromaxBDA.
Prior to assuming his current role, Levy served as president of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales and Turner Sports. Previously, Levy served as co-president of Turner Broadcasting System International since September 2000 where he oversaw TBS, Inc.â€™s wide-ranging cable network business activities in Asia, Europe and Latin America, including sales and marketing and distribution; programming and interactive business development; and joint partnerships and business alliances outside the United States.
Levy began his career at Turner Broadcasting in 1986 as an account executive in the entertainment division. He later played an integral role in developing and overseeing the Turner Sports ad sales division and was named senior vice president for international ad sales in 1994, and executive vice president in 1997. In 1998, Levy became Turnerâ€™s first president of International Advertising Sales.
Levy is a graduate of Syracuse University. He resides in Westchester, New York, with his wife, Niki, and their two boys, Brett and Jake.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Darren Rovell is CNBC's Sports Business Reporter. He is responsible for both analyzing and reporting on the sports business world on all of CNBC's programming including "Squawk Box," "Power Lunch" and "Street Signs." He is also author of the "Sports Biz" blog on CNBC.com.
Since joining CNBC in July 2006, Rovell has interviewed many of the world's greatest athletes including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong. Other interview subjects also include the sporting world's top power brokers including NBA Commissioner David Stern, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, Major League Baseball President and COO Bob DuPuy, super agent Scott Boras, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, Nike CEO Mark Parker and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Rovell reported and anchored the CNBC primetime documentary "Swoosh! Inside Nike," which took viewers through the company's history to the factory floors in Vietnam. It was nominated for an Emmy. He also anchored other primetime documentaries, including "Inside Track: Refueling the Business of NASCAR," "As Seen on TV," an in-depth look at the infomercial business, "Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising" and "Business Model: Inside the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue." Rovell won an Emmy for his contribution to NBC's 2008 Election coverage.
Rovell doesn't just report, he does. He finished the New York Marathon in 2004, the same year he ate six hot dogs and buns at a hot dog eating qualifier. He finished fifth in the world in the World Championship of Watermelon Seed Spitting in Luling, Texas in 2005, and scored one point in a two-minute stint for the Washington Generals at Madison Square Garden in 2008. He is also on the Green Bay Packers season ticket waiting list, has searched for golf balls in the water of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass and has been tutored by the Dallas Mavericks free throw coach. In February of 2008, when Shaquille O'Neal was traded to the Phoenix Suns, he gave Shaq the idea to call himself "The Big Cactus." In 2009, he played then No. 2 ranked Andy Murray in a game a tennis and sat in Kyle Busch's car during the Pennzoil Burnout Competition at the Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte.
Prior to joining CNBC, Rovell served as sports business writer for ESPN.com and reported on the world of agents, stadium deals, endorsements and contracts on ESPN's flagship, "SportsCenter," its investigative show, "Outside the Lines," and had weekly segments on ESPNEWS.
Rovell is also the author of two business books. First In Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat Into A Cultural Phenomenon and On the Ball: What You Can Learn About Business From America's Sports Leaders. First In Thirst was named by Soundview Summaries as one of the top 30 business books of the year, while On the Ball, co-written with industry insider David Carter, was named to the Top 25 list of "What Corporate America Is Reading" by the Knight Ridder/Tribune News.
In 2004 and 2007, Rovell was named to Newsbios' "30 under 30," a list of the top 30 national business reporters under the age of 30. He is the only sports reporter in the two-decade history of the awards to have been honored.
Rovell graduated cum laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where he is on the advisory board for graduate programs in sports administration.
John Skipper became the president of ESPN and the co-chairman of Disney Media Networks in January 2012. In his 14 years with the company, Skipper has been a key architect of ESPN’s explosive growth. He has held leadership roles overseeing the company’s television, digital, print, and advertising sales initiatives, as well as ESPN’s focus on brand extensions, bringing the company’s “best available screen” philosophy to life across more platforms and with more wide-ranging major rights agreements than at any time since ESPN’s launch in 1979. Under his leadership, ESPN has consistently set records for television ratings and digital consumption and has negotiated several wide-ranging, major rights agreements with the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, the BCS, FIFA, the Masters Tournament, the British Open, the USTA, Wimbledon, and several college conferences.
David Stern leads a league that is a model for professional sports in league operations, public service, global marketing and digital technology.
During Mr. Stern's 28-year tenure, the league has added seven franchises; enjoyed a 30-fold increase in revenues; expanded its national television exposure dramatically; and launched the Women's National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League.
Interest generated by the leagues' growing international initiatives has led to the opening of offices in 15 global markets, the televising of games in 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages, and the creation of 14 language-specific Web destinations. The leagues' digital assets, including NBA.com, WNBA.com, and NBADLeague.com; social media platforms; NBA LEAGUE PASS; NBA TV, which is currently available in nearly 59 million U.S. homes; and mobile applications reach hundreds of millions of fans every day.
An intense commitment to social responsibility both in the United States and around the world has marked Mr. Stern's tenure as commissioner. In 2005, the league launched NBA Cares, a program through which the NBA, its players and teams have raised more than $175 million for charity, provided more than 1.8 million hours of hands-on service to communities around the world, and created more than 675 places where children and families can live, learn, or play. NBA Cares supports a host of community outreach initiatives, including a myriad of internationally recognized youth-serving programs that focus on education, youth and family development, and health and wellness.
Mr. Stern is the chair emeritus of the Trustees of Columbia University and serves or has served on the boards of Beth Israel Medical Center, the Rutgers University Foundation, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Paley Center for Media, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A native of New York City, Mr. Stern is a graduate of Rutgers University and Columbia Law School. He is married to Dianne Bock Stern, and they are the parents of two adult sons.