One word defines Espinoza’s tireless efforts to raise Showtime Sports’ profile during the past year: Boxing. Or perhaps two words: Floyd Mayweather. As a top destination for big-time boxing, Showtime’s flagship franchise Showtime Championship Boxing has increased consistently year over year, and in 2013 the network doubled its live boxing offering, going from 24 to 42 live fights. Espinoza also brought additional prestigious programs to the network including “ShoBox: The New Generation,” “Jim Rome on Showtime,” “60 Minutes Sports” and Emmy-winning “Inside the NFL.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, he most enjoys working with “individuals who are self-confident enough to think differently and try new approaches, which will necessarily involve a risk of failure.”
What’s the definition of diversity in 2014, and how can the cable industry do better in the area of inclusiveness?
Achieving diversity requires more than hiring people of various ethnic backgrounds and genders. In my opinion, company diversity is achieved when we hire and empower a wide range of free-thinking individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.
What qualities do you look for when making a new hire?
A key quality I look for is fearlessness. I look for individuals who are self-confident enough to think differently and try new approaches, which will necessarily involve a risk of failure. I want people who are willing to risk failure, as opposed to staying on the safe, well-traveled path.
Name one emerging trend in cable we should all have our eye on.
Event-based viewing. While much of the television audience may not be fans of football or award shows, viewers want to be part of the collective social experience of the Super Bowl or Grammy Awards. Creating a well-rounded, collective viewing experience can cut through the clutter of a highly segmented television market and help counter the time- and place-shifted viewing habits of today’s viewers.