ESPN International Chief Shifts To OTT
By Jay Stuart | November 2, 2018
ESPN international chief Russell Wolff has been named Executive Vice President and General Manager of OTT service ESPN+.
ESPN+ was launched in April 2018 by The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer International (DTCI) division in collaboration with ESPN and surpassed one million paying subscribers in just five months.
In his new role, Wolff will be responsible for managing ESPN+ and will also collaborate on the overall management and commercialization of ESPN-branded digital products.
Most recently, he served as Executive VP and Managing Director of ESPN International, where he was responsible for all of ESPN’s international businesses.
The regional general managers of the ESPN International businesses will now report directly into DTCI’s regional leadership outside of the U.S.
ESPN International’s content, programming and production leaders will continue to report directly into ESPN.
Announcing the appointment, Michael Paull, President of Disney Streaming Services (to whom Wolff will report), said “ESPN+ is off to a fantastic start as the fastest growing consumer sports streaming service in the market and Russell’s deep understanding of the ESPN brand and experience across all aspects of the media landscape will bring even more velocity to the service.”
Wolff said: “ESPN+ is in the first inning of a very long game. There is a tremendous opportunity to grow the service and expand our position as the leading streaming service and provider of digital products for sports fans.”
ESPN+ offers fans thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.