Title: President, ESPN and co-chair, Disney Media Networks
Years in Cable: 6
Education: BA, Literature, UNC: MA, Literature, Columbia
Why Him? Fast-rising Skipper has certainly earned his brand-new title. He’s been a key player in ESPN’s continuing domination in sports programming across platforms. In July, Skipper championed a coup for the network, adding to its portfolio of 30 major conferences, leagues, commissions and associations—and its 2010 score of the BCS Championship Game—by swiping NBC’s 43-year run of Wimbledon tennis championships coverage. The 12-year agreement beginning next year gives ESPN U.S. TV rights to all matches.
Touchdown! ESPN cleared the goalpost in September with a mammoth deal to renew its contract for “Monday Night Football”—the highest-rated show on cable—through 2021. Skipper brokered the $15.2 billion coup, which allows ESPN to maintain more NFL content than any other cabler except NFL Network, with an additional 500 hours of league-branded content and streaming to Verizon cells and tablets via its WatchESPN app.
Year Ahead: Game on! ?