Nicolina O'Rorke

Under O’Rorke’s purview, NBC Sports Group’s regional sports networks are focused on delivering content and products to better reach and engage fans wherever and whenever. They are creating a clear product architecture that delivers a holistic fan experience, and drive a single authentic voice and brand across all products and platforms. “Change is constant and change creates opportunity,” O’Rorke says. “Recognize it early and identify those opportunities where you can add value.”

A February 2018 UCLA study revealed that of the 45 new scripted shows approved for 2017-18 across broadcast, cable and digital platforms, only four were from creators of color, all of whom were black. What is your reaction to this report?
Entertainment programming is often risk averse—and has traditionally been built on the personal preference of those programming it, gut instinct, and what’s worked in the past. And when all three of these aspects lack diversity, it’s not surprising that the slate of approved shows lacks diversity.

What’s a recent example of a step forward for diversity in the industry?
Films like “Black Panther” (a super-hero story) and “Crazy Rich Asians” (a rom-com, Cinderella story) help to prove there is a meaningful audience and material market out there for classic stories told through a diverse lens and portrayed with a diverse cast.

In what areas should the industry step up its efforts with regard to diversity and inclusion?
While the industry continues to take steps towards painting a better picture of diversity on camera/screen, it still has a longer way to go in terms of diversity off camera/screen. Specifically, embracing greater diversity at the decision-making level within these companies will ultimately help to catalyze meaningful change throughout all aspects of the organization.

What’s your best advice to someone just entering the video content/distribution industry?
Change is constant and change creates opportunity. Recognize it early and identify those opportunities where you can add value.

What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
When the Pay-TV universe was growing, the RSN business delivered significant growth and cash flows to its owners. In the past three years, the Pay-TV universe has come under significant pressure as consumers have more choice in where and how they consume content. It is no longer enough to simply be the home of the games for your local teams serving fans only between the hours of 5p-11p—it has become increasingly important for us to focus on delivering content and products to better reach and engage our fans wherever and whenever.

If there were a reality show based on your office, what would it be called?
“Fixer Upper Deck”