Showtime Ups Stephen Espinoza to President, Sports and Event Programming

Showtime Networks has promoted Stephen Espinoza to President, Sports and Event Programming, where he will continue to develop and execute the overall strategy of the group.

Stephen Espinoza, President, Showtime Sports and Event Programming (Photo by Jennifer S. Altman)

Under Espinoza’s leadership, Showtime has become a leading global outlet for live boxing, producing 33 world championship fights and 71 live bouts in all – twice as many as any other outlet – in 2017. Showtime Championship Boxing has a television lineup for the first six months of 2018 that will be the largest ever in the sport, with 10 world-class events including 12 world title fights.

Showtime can also lay claim to the two most watched pay-per-view events in history with Mayweather-Pacquiao (May 2015) and Mayweather-McGregor (August 2017), as well as the three most lucrative with Mayweather-Canelo (September 2013), each bout produced during Espinoza’s tenure. He also helped orchestrate one of the biggest deals in boxing history when Floyd Mayweather moved to Showtime in 2013 under a landmark six-fight deal. Across seven events with Mayweather, Showtime PPV generated more than 14 million domestic buys (U.S. and Canada) and over $1.2 billion in domestic pay-per-view revenue during a span of just four years.

“Simply stated, Stephen is the heavyweight champion of his profession,” says David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks. “He is an innovator, equal parts thoughtful and tenacious, who has turned Showtime boxing into the market leader, while also driving excellence in our documentaries and sports series.”

As head of Showtime Sports, Espinoza is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the sports and event group, including its pay-per-view unit. Based in Showtime Networks’ New York offices, Espinoza oversees the production of the network’s original sports series and sports documentaries, as well as the acquisition and licensing of all other Showtime and pay-per-view sports and event programming. The network’s hard-hitting sports content includes Showtime CHAMPIONSHIP Boxing, SHOBOX: THE NEW GENERATION, ALL ACCESS, A SEASON WITH (featuring college football programs from Notre Dame, Florida State and the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis), ALL ACCESS: QUEST FOR THE STANLEY CUP and the Emmy®Award-winning INSIDE THE NFL, as well as an enviable slate of documentaries including IVERSON, KOBE BRYANT’S MUSE, ONE & DONE andDISGRACED.

Prior to joining Showtime in late 2011, Espinoza was a partner in the firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP. At the firm, he specialized in representing athletes and sports personalities, including professional boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson, who generated a total of over $500 million in pay-per-view revenues under his representation. Espinoza served as lead counsel for De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions dating back to the formation of the company. Through his representation of Tyson, De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions and his subsequent work at Showtime, Espinoza has been directly involved in the five highest-grossing pay-per-view events of all time (including De La Hoya-Mayweather and Tyson-Lewis, as De La Hoya/Golden Boy’s lawyer and Tyson’s lawyer, respectively).

Other notable former sports clients include former NFL star and current broadcaster Michael Strahan and mixed martial arts fighter and actress Gina Carano. Espinoza also represented a variety of established and emerging performers and filmmakers across the film and television industries. Espinoza previously worked at the Law Offices of Steinberg & Moorad, one of the nation’s preeminent sports law firms. Espinoza earned a B.A. in Communication from Stanford University and received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

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