Justin Connolly was named senior vice president, programming for college networks in December 2012. In this new role, Connolly leads ESPN’s college networks, including Longhorn Network and the upcoming SEC/ESPN Network set to launch in August 2014. He sets strategic direction, oversees content acquisition and scheduling, and works collaboratively with all ESPN business units to maximize distribution, viewership and revenue opportunities. The programming staff for Longhorn Network reports to Justin as will the programming staff for the SEC/ESPN Network.
Prior to his new post, Connolly served as senior vice president, national accounts for Disney and ESPN media networks. He was responsible for all domestic distribution and licensing efforts for The Walt Disney Company’s linear networks, broadband and VOD content within the Media Networks Group. His team worked to negotiate distribution agreements with all of the cable, satellite and IPTV distributors throughout the country. Connolly also worked to develop and implement sales strategies for all of the domestic linear networks as well as the new digital media products and services.
Since joining ESPN in 2003, Connolly has served in various capacities including director, ESPN strategy and operations (July 2003-July 2004) where he helped ESPN with its long-term affiliate negotiations. He was promoted to vice president, distribution strategy (August 2004-October 2005), where his duties included the development of pricing and packaging strategies while also participating in negotiating the distribution agreements involving Disney and ESPN assets.
Prior to joining ESPN, Connolly worked in the corporate finance group for The Walt Disney Company’s corporate treasury department in Burbank, Calif.
Connolly is a native of Boston and was graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1998 and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2003.