The death of NFL Films pres Steve Sabol reverberated in the cable industry Tues, where he is viewed as a visionary in the sports television space. Sabol died of brain cancer Tues at age 69. Sabol and his father, Ed, revolutionized sports broadcasting through NFL Films. NFL Films has won more than 100 Emmys, with Sabol himself receiving 35 of those. A sampling of the remembrances:

John Skipper, ESPN president: “Steve was a legend in this business—a dynamic, innovative leader who made NFL Films the creative force it is today. The work he and his dedicated and talented team create every day is one of the many reasons why so many more fans love the game of football today. On behalf of everyone at ESPN, I offer our deepest condolences to his wife, Penny, and the rest of the Sabol family.”
David Hill, former Fox Sports chmn and current News Corp sr evp: “When we started FOX Sports, no one was more helpful than Steve, and in a short time he became a great, great friend.  He was always there to listen to one of my idiotic ideas. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Steve, and no one, absolutely no one could rock a pink shirt while talking about the NFL as well as he could.  He was greatly respected and will be missed by everyone at FOX and the entire NFL community.”
Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner: “Steve Sabol was the creative genius behind the remarkable work of NFL Films. Steve’s passion for football was matched by his incredible talent and energy. Steve’s legacy will be part of the NFL forever. He was a major contributor to the success of the NFL, a man who changed the way we look at football and sports, and a great friend.”
Rich Eisen, NFL Net anchor: “We here at NFL Network wouldn’t be on the air if it weren’t for the genius, the leadership, the kindness and the man’s drive and determination to make sure that the National Football League was presented in a fashion and in a way that made the sport exciting and brought it home to all of us in a manner that we had never seen.”
Chris Berman, ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown host: “I am deeply saddened by the passing of my friend Steve Sabol. Every time I saw him, he brought a quick smile to my face. He was happy everyday on the job for a simple reason—Steve was a man who loved pro football and loved making movies about it. He and NFL Films have long been unparalleled in their craft and for that reason millions of us will forever owe Steve a huge thank you.” 

The Daily


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