John Skipper

President, ESPN, Inc.; Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks

Since taking the helm as ESPN president and co-chairman, Disney Media Networks on January 1, 2012, John Skipper has secured ESPN’s global leadership position in the competitive sports media landscape into the next decade through groundbreaking multiplatform rights agreements and embracing new technologies to serve fans wherever they are. Today, ESPN enjoys unparalleled television and digital scale in sports media. Throughout, he has continued to foster what he calls “our best strategic advantage—the people and culture of ESPN.”Skipper has led ESPN to a series of long-term, multiplatform agreements with major rights holders (all through at least 2021), including NBA, Major League Baseball, the College Football Playoff, major college conferences, US Open tennis, and the Rose, Sugar, and Orange Bowls. He aggressively signed long-term affiliate agreements with cable and satellite providers and new entrants like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW and Hulu. He has also expanded ESPN’s footprint outside the U.S. with Sony in India, Tencent in China and Kwesé in Africa.

The long-term, multiplatform agreements with major rightsholders (all through at least 2021) and distributors include:

  • Major League Baseball, the College Football Playoff, NBA, ACC, Big 12, US Open tennis, Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, WNBA.
  • ESPN and the SEC announced a 20-year agreement to create and operate the ESPN SEC Network and digital platforms, while extending the existing media rights agreement through 2034.
  • In 2016, ESPN and the ACC announced a 20-year agreement to launch the ACC Network, across linear and digital platforms. ESPN’s rights agreement with the ACC was extended until 2036.
  • Agreements across all major nationwide distributors, both traditional – Altice USA (formerly Cablevision and Suddenlink), AT&T and DIRECTV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Cox, DISH, Google Fiber, Mediacom, Midcontinent Communications, NCTC, NRTC, NTTC, Spectrum (formerly Charter, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks), Verizon FiOS TV – and digital (Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW and Hulu).

Skipper holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English Literature from the University of North Carolina and Columbia University, respectively. He joined ESPN in 1997 and had served as executive vice president, content, prior to being named president.

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