Since taking the helm as ESPN President and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks on January 1, 2012, John Skipper has secured ESPN’s leadership position in the crowded sports media landscape into the next decade with bold moves and a commitment to live championship events delivered across every available platform, including a rapidly growing focus on digital and mobile applications.
Skipper has charged the ESPN workforce “to think like an insurgent and not like an incumbent” as they continue to fulfill the company’s mission “to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere.”
Most noteworthy, Skipper has led ESPN to a series of long-term, multiplatform agreements with major rightsholders (all through at least 2021) and distributors:
- Major League Baseball, the College Football Playoff, NBA, ACC, Big 12, US Open tennis, Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, WNBA, American Athletic Conference, Mountain West Conference
- In addition, 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.
- Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, AT&T U-Verse, National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NTRC), National Telco Television Consortium (NTTC), National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), Suddenlink, Mediacom, DIRECTV, DISH (including their innovative Sling TV broadband video subscription service) and multi-stream DMVPD service Sony PlayStation Vue.
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.