2017 LiveTV:LA

Keynote

David Hill Hilly Inc., President

David Hill
Hilly Inc., President

Widely considered the father of modern live sports television coverage, David Hill has been a journalist, news anchor, documentary producer/director, Emmy Award-winning sports producer and executive, network chief, and now independent producer.

He has executive-produced many of the world’s biggest television programs, from the Oscars to the Super Bowl to American Idol, and holds patents for such production innovations as football’s on-field first-down marker and the constant score-and-clock graphic (commonly known as the Fox Box).

In 2015, Hill started his own production company, Hilly Inc., whose first undertaking was to produce the 88th Oscars, which received critical acclaim when it aired on ABC in February 2016. That year, he also produced Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival Countdown, as the international retailer sought to elevate its flagship event.

Australian by birth and a naturalized American, Hill began his career as a copy boy at the Daily Telegraph in Sydney. Later, he became a television journalist and then a documentary producer/director. Eventually, he shifted to live television production at Australia’s 7 Network and subsequently moved to sports at Nine Network, working with owner Kerry Packer to create The World Series of Cricket and Channel 9’s Wide World of Sports.

In 1988, after Rupert Murdoch lured him to England to help launch Sky Television, Hill became executive producer of Eurosport and created Sky Sports.

After the fledgling Fox Network gained the rights to televise the NFL’s NFC package in 1993, Hill became the first president of Fox Sports, launching a major network sports division in eight months. Over the next 20 years, he directly or indirectly oversaw the launch of Fox Sports Net, FoxSports.com, Big Ten Network, and Fox Sports.

In 1996, Hill was appointed chairman of Fox, and, in three years, the network jumped from No. 4 in primetime to No. 2 overall and No. 1 in the key 18-49 demographic.

Becoming president, entertainment, of DirecTV when News Corp. purchased it in 2005, Hill developed enhanced viewing experiences, such as NFL Sunday Ticket SuperFan and NASCAR HotPass.

During his time at the Fox Network and DirecTV, Hill continued running Fox Sports, which eventually grew into the Fox Sports Media Group in the U.S., later expanding worldwide. He oversaw thousands of events aired by Fox Sports and affiliated national and regional channels — including six Super Bowls, 14 World Series, five Stanley Cup Finals, and eight Daytona 500s — and was responsible for countless studio shows, including Fox NFL Sunday. Many of the techniques and innovations he introduced characterize today’s sports-television production.

Hill has been described by Murdoch as a “dynamic and imaginative leader who has changed the experience of nearly all major sports on three continents. Whether launching Sky Sports, the Fox Network, Fox Sports, or our regional sports networks, we owe him an enormous debt.”