Disney has named James Pitaro, Chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media, as the new President of the company’s leading cable network, ESPN, as it looks to transform the platform to capitalise on the growing digital streaming services market.
“Jimmy is a talented and dedicated leader with the right strategic vision, relentless drive and passion for sports required to lead the stellar ESPN team at this incredibly dynamic time,” said Robert Iger, Chairman and CEO of Disney. “Jimmy forged his career at the intersection of technology, sports and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking ESPN into the future.”
In pursuing this initiative, ESPN is readying the launch of its new direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, on which the company will offer thousands of live sporting events and on-demand programming.
This will be integrated directly into the newly refined ESPN App, a project that Pitaro will become responsible for.
“As a passionate and lifelong sports fan, I am honored to be joining the ESPN team during such a pivotal time in its storied history,” Pitaro said. “The appetite for quality sports content across platforms has never been greater, and I am looking forward to working with the talented ESPN team as we continue to redefine the future fan experience.”
Alongside his new role as President of ESPN, Pitaro has also been named as Co-Chair of Disney Media Networks, both positions of which will be effective immediately.