Name: Steve Bornstein
Title:
EVP, NFL Media; President/CEO, NFL Network
Age:
“Old enough to remember when there were only three networks.”
Years in Industry: 27
Years left in Industry: “Plenty. A lot left to accomplish.”

Name: Gavin Harvey
Title: President, Versus
Age: “M25-54”
Years in Industry: 20
Years left in the industry: 20

 

Why Them? Sure, Bornstein’s tough stance often grates on the cable industry, but he sticks to his belief of the NFL as a super-strong brand—and that’s an assessment to which ESPN and DirecTV would surely attest. And as many major cable ops refuse to abdicate their pro-tier stance, Bornstein continues to fight back, turning up the legislative heat at the federal and state levels. Meanwhile, smaller ops and overbuilders such as Atlantic Broadband and RCN have agreed to pay a surcharge this year to carry the net’s 8 live games, which feature far better match ups than last season. Add programming deals with Sprint, iTunes, MyNetworkTV, ION Nets and Versus, and the re-launch of NFL.com with more video, and Bornstein seems like a bull with a mission. Harvey, meanwhile, has successfully repositioned and re-branded the net since it jettisoned its OLN acronym last fall. As Versus’ awareness among sports fans has more than doubled since the moniker switch, Harvey has effectively blended bold and popular new programming such as World Extreme Cagefighting with surviving outdoors content, college football and the Jan launch of Versus/Golf Channel HD. Harvey’s focus is crystal clear.  CH

 

Steve Bornstein

I knew the cable industry was for me when: “They let me watch TV in my office and paid me for it.”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Subscriber defections to telco and satellite.”
Person (other than my current boss) who I’d most like to work for: “Seth Palansky because he some how keeps getting me included on this prestigious list.”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “My wife, my kids and my television.”
I wish cable would: “Recognize the value in partnering with the NFL.”
Favorite piece of tech: “Television… overlooked by many, but HD has made a good medium great.”
Least favorite piece of tech: “Blackberry”
My perfect vacation goes like this: “Vacation? Who in the cable industry gets a vacation?”

Gavin Harvey

The world would be a better place if: “There would be no road rage, no obesity, no substance abuse, no boredom, no slacking, and no prejudice if everybody rode their bicycles to work and then went fishing…”
I knew the cable industry was for me when: “I was in the MBA program at UCLA when Ted Turner spoke to a small group of us in the Entertainment Management club. It was the 80s, and many of my colleagues were hard-core Gordon Gekko Wall Street-wanna-bees who attended expecting Ted to share the secrets of earning a billion dollars. Instead, Ted unleashed a pro-social assault on the greed-driven life, championed the Goodwill Games, and challenged us to Save the Whales.  I thought, this is insane, I love this guy, I have got to get into this business…”
The cable industry’s biggest challenge in 2008 is: “Commercial ratings is a paradigm shift for networks, which have based their sales models on program ratings. We won’t really know what the financial implications are, as an industry, until we get into an ad market in which commercial ratings is the driving factor.”
Defining career moment: “I moved to Manhattan in 1999 to help reposition and rebrand Viewers Choice as iN Demand. More than a moment, it was a defining experience to work on behalf of a board composed of cable’s leaders (such as Amy Banse, Matt Bond, Fred Dressler, and Bob Wilson) on a high-priority initiative to reposition pay-per-view and VOD. I travelled 10,000 miles a month meeting with MSOs, cable systems, movie studios, event promoters, sports leagues, and technology companies to rally all the stakeholders in this medium. It was grueling, rewarding, and invaluable experience.”
Top personal achievement in 2007: “My top personal achievement in 2007 was summed up by blowing out the candle on our first birthday as Versus. I have led a team of maniacally competitive executives to a great milestone in the repositioning initiative we began in 2004. With new acquisitions in college football and mixed martial arts joining the NHL, Tour de France, PBR, boxing and field sports, our program mix is strong. The Versus name and brand has taken hold and is establishing strong roots with sports TV and outdoor TV viewers. And we are delivering on the value proposition we promised to advertisers and distributors.”
In my free time, I like to: “Living close to the Long Island Sound, a great fishery for striped bass, bluefish, bonita and other gamefish, I periodically drive myself crazy with frustration trying to hook and land these damn beasts with fly fishing tackle.” 
Favorite restaurant: “Hatsuhana sushi, (downstairs bar), NYC”
Favorite city: “New York City”
Three things I would take with me to a desert island: “Do people count? Jonnie, Irish, and Cassius Harvey… If it’s objects, I’d want a 30KW solar array power generator, a gin still, and an ice maker.”
Favorite song: “Summer Wind, Frank Sinatra”
Favorite TV show: “What else – ‘The Sopranos’.”
Favorite movie: Jaws
Favorite sports team: “The New York Yankees”
Favorite piece of tech: “Blackberry Curve”
Least favorite piece of tech: “Blackberry Curve”

Click here to go to the next entry
Click here to go to the previous entry
Click here to return to the 2007 CableFAX 100 list

The Daily

Subscribe

RLJ, Allen Talk Barriers to Black Media Ownership

A lot has changed since Robert Johnson launched BET in 1980, but the barriers that existed then for Black-owned networks remain much the same.

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up