2019 Sports OTT Forum

Speakers

Ken Adelson, Sports Media Consultant (Former NHRA Chief Content Officer & EP / NBAE SVP Production Operations)

Ken Adelson has a long history of successful network startups and building premier sports media brands. He was a leader in the history-making launch of NBA TV, the first sports league owned network that changed the way sports properties marketed and distributed their products, and played a pivotal role in the NBA’s pioneering efforts in digital media, live production, and content management. Adelson spent nearly two decades at NBA Entertainment, becoming the SVP of production, operations, and planning. He developed and implemented the organization’s day-to-day strategies and also helped drive the global expansion of the NBA.

Adelson was tasked to create the broadcast, digital media, and arena operations for the Oklahoma City Thunder from the ground up, in less than two months when the team relocated from Seattle to OKC. As SVP and EP, he led the broadcasts and original programming that launched Fox Sports Oklahoma, Thunder TV, and the Thunder Radio Network, winning a Heartland Emmy for best game telecast.

Adelson developed and was EP for live broadcasts of The Jockey Club on Fox, a horse racing series airing on FS1, and Summer at Saratoga, produced for NBC SN. He started-up the America’s Best Racing website and digital marketing platforms.

Most recently, he launched and oversaw the National Hot Rod Association’s in-house broadcast and digital media operations, managing the transition from ESPN to Fox Sports, building facilities, creating an OTT Network, and handling content strategy and the EP’s role, as well as shattering viewership and digital media engagement records across broadcast and digital platforms.

After graduating from the University of Florida, Adelson began his career as a television sports broadcaster and journalist, spending 8 years on-air reaching top-40 markets including Phoenix, AZ and Hartford, CT.
Adelson currently serves as an industry advisor and speaker, working with established organizations, start-up ventures and the next generation of sports media professionals to help them thrive and prosper in an ever-changing new media land.

Shaka Arnon, WSC Sports, Head of U.S. Operations

Shaka Arnon is the head of WSC Sports’ North American operations. He was born and raised in Israel and has resided in New Jersey since 2016. On top of leading WSC Sports’ North American operations, Arnon is a true sports enthusiast who enjoys both watching and practicing. He holds a B.Sc and M.Sc. in computer science from IDC Hertzeliya.

Tim Baldwin, Zixi, Head of Product

Tim Baldwin has more than 20+ years in engineering, product, and marketing roles in media and computer hardware technology companies. Before joining Zixi, Baldwin developed and managed the integration of Brightcove’s Online Video Platform with both enterprise content management systems and enterprise content delivery networks. Prior to Brightcove, Baldwin played an instrumental role in developing and deploying encoding and streaming technologies and services at Kulabyte and Haivision. At Zixi, Baldwin leads the product management team and drives the product vision, strategy, and roadmap.

Eric Black, NBC Sports Digital & Playmaker Media, CTO

Black was named Chief Technology Officer of NBC Sports Group Digital in 2015. Black manages all IP-delivered platforms for NBC Sports Digital, including its numerous websites, applications and connected devices. He also oversees NBC Sports’ Playmaker Media, a separate business which provides end-to-end video support service for companies in need of best-in-class live streaming and VOD solutions.

Under Black’s leadership, NBC Sports Digital and Playmaker Media have streamed some of the most prestigious properties in sports, including six Olympic Games, three Super Bowls, Sunday Night Football – primetime television’s No. 1 show — the National Hockey League, Premier League, National Basketball Association, NASCAR, the Triple Crown, Notre Dame Football, MLB and the Open Championship, among many others. The systems built by Black have focused on both high concurrent traffic and scale, and now operate on more than 20,000 events per year, resulting in billions of consumed minutes.

In addition to the tens of thousands of events that air each year across NBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel, Telemundo, NBCUniverso and six NBC Sports Regional networks, Playmaker Media provided streaming video solutions for the Presidential debates and 2016 election coverage for NBC News. The service currently provides end-to-end services for the Olympic Channel, the International Olympic Committee’s global digital platform. In 2017, Black pioneered a partnership between Playmaker and iStreamPlanet, owned by Turner. Together, the two companies delivered digital services for many of sports’ biggest events: Telemundo Deportes’ coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia; CBS and Turner Sports’ March Madness coverage; Super Bowl LII; and the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Korea.

NBC Sports Digital’s streaming coverage of Super Bowl LII peaked at 3.1 million concurrent viewers, making it the largest domestic streaming sports event in history. The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics also set Winter Games records, streaming 1.85 billion live minutes and 2.17 billion total minutes. Telemundo’s World Cup coverage shattered all Spanish language records in the United States, garnering the most live streamed match in Spanish-language history (Mexico v Sweden, 6.9 million live minutes).

A 20-year veteran of the digital video/live streaming industry, Black and his team were instrumental in NBC Sports Digital’s success during the Rio Olympic Games, which set streaming records with 3.3 billion total minutes, 2.71 billion live minutes and 100 million unique users. It remains the largest digital even in history.

Black joined NBCUniversal as a webmaster for NBC New York’s website, wnbc.com, in June 2000. In 2010, as Director of Digital Operations for NBC Sports, he managed the first-ever live stream of Super Bowl XLVI. He was promoted to Vice President, Technology, for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics in 2012.

Black has been recognized with seven Emmy awards, the Olympic Golden Rings for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad on NBC, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for 9/11 coverage in 2004. In addition, he was honored with the 2013-2014 technology and engineering Emmy Award for Pioneering Delivery of Pay TV Linear Video to Consumer Owned and Managed Devices Over an IP Connection.

Sandy Brown, Major League Lacrosse, Commissioner

Alexander “Sandy” Brown joined Major League Lacrosse in February 2018. Since taking the helm, Brown has drastically improved the experience and opportunity for players, teams, and fans. During his tenure, he has restructured the ownership group and reacquired the league’s media rights. Additionally, Brown has shifted and expanded the game schedule for the first time in decades, increased the league salary cap, increased the team roster size, added a digital production team, and rebranded the league’s marks.

Brown is an accomplished executive with over 25 years of leadership experience who has spearheaded the launch and growth of multiple sports media outlets. Most recently, he was the president/CEO of One World Sports, where he launched the HD channel across both linear and digital platforms to over 50 million U.S. subscribers through cable and satellite distributors, as well as over-the-top (OTT) platforms.

In 2010, Brown became president of Univision Sports, the leading media outlet for Spanish-speaking Americans, where he created and launched Univision Deportes to over 15 million U.S. homes. As part of this effort, Brown oversaw the rebranding of Univision Sports. Additionally, he not only supervised the production of the highest rated primetime sports broadcast in the channel’s history at the time with the Mexico vs. Honduras match in the 2011 Gold Cup, but he developed Univision’s nightly version of Sportscenter, Univision Deportes Extra or UDX, as well as the network’s signature soccer pregame program, Futbol Central.

Brown has extensive experience in the international markets. Based in Hong Kong and Singapore, he launched ESPN’s business in Asia while serving as the managing director of both ESPN Asia and ESPN Star Sports. Brown’s international work in sports began in the late 1980’s when he was hired by the NBA to oversee their international television interests in over 100 countries.

Brown played lacrosse collegiately at Washington and Lee University and represented the university in the 1985 USILA North South Game.

Daniel Cohen, Octagon, Senior Vice President, Global Media Rights Consulting

Daniel Cohen leads Octagon’s Global Media Rights Consulting division. Octagon MRC leverages its access to IPG’s global network of media data, research and tools and combines it with local in-market intelligence, along with an expansive team of sports media analysts. The practice counts teams, leagues, federations, traditional and new media broadcasters, as well as VCs, Private Equity funds, and Investment Firms as clients across 5 continents.

Brandon Costa, SVG, Director of Digital

Brandon Costa covers the sports video production industry with a focus on live streaming, over-the-top (OTT), social media, and other digital distribution technologies and platforms. He also directs SVG’s internal digital strategies launching the company’s video outfit, ‘SVG On Demand,’ designing and overseeing its mobile application, ‘SVG Mobile,’ and serving as executive producer and host of The SVG Podcast. Costa serves as program director of networking events serving the SVG College and SVG Digital communities. Prior to his time at SVG, Costa spent five years producing digital content for MLB Advanced Media.

Brian Josephs, Sportradar, Vice President, Sport Media

Brian Josephs leads sales and account management across Sportradar’s media, technology and brand clients in North America. In this role, Brian is responsible for leading client engagements that leverage Sportradar’s data, product, and advanced analytics expertise to create engaging consumer experiences.

Before Sportradar, Brian spent five years as an Account Director at Nielsen Sports, formerly Repucom. In that role, he was responsible for sales and account management across their NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB league and team clients.

Brian attended Georgetown University where he was a student-athlete and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marketing and Management.

Arbesa Kastrati, DAZN, VP, Strategy and Implementation

With DAZN for three years, Kastrati works closely with the EVP of Revenue to drive the overall subscriber and revenue performance of the company’s North American business by designing and executing an integrated strategy that brings together marketing, PR, social, commercial partnerships and programming functions.

She led the build and ongoing management of a structure/culture that uses data for all decision making in a consistent and cohesive manner across all teams. She ensures that data stories are proactively told, consistently messaged, and followed by measurable actions while also overseeing that the business maintains a clear understanding of what is/isn’t driving growth against all KPIs.

Ken Kerschbaumer, SVG, Co-Executive Director, Editorial Services

Ken Kerschbaumer is co-executive director of editorial services for the Sports Video Group and SVG Europe. He was a co-founder of SVG along with Paul Gallo and Marty Porter in 2005 and has been writing about how sports networks and leagues use video and audio technology to deliver a quality TV experience since 1991. Kerschbaumer began his career in 1991 at Television Broadcast magazine before joining Cahners where he was founding editor of Digital Broadcasting magazine. In 2000, he joined Broadcasting & Cable magazine as senior editor of technology where he covered all aspects of broadcasting, cable, and internet content creation and distribution.

Dave Lehanski, NHL, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Innovation

David Lehanski is the senior vice president of business development and innovation for the National Hockey League, responsible for advancing initiatives for the NHL through the establishment of corporate partnerships, state-of-the-art technology solutions, and new revenue.

Since joining the League in 2005, Lehanski has played an important role in the League’s path to more than $5 billion in annual reviews, establishing landmark partnerships for the NHL with some of the biggest global brands including Apple, Dunkin Donuts, SAP, Honda, PepsiCo, Geico, Discover, Enterprise, Cisco, and MillerCoors, among many others. Most recently, Lehanski has been one of the drivers in the League’s progressive approach to sports betting, helping to secure strategic partnerships with MGM Resorts International, FanDuel, and William Hill.

Over the past several seasons, Lehanski has been focused on developing new solutions with industry-leading technology providers to improve and enhance the game for players, coaches, and officials, as well as for fans and for the League’s broadcast and corporate partners. He was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the NHL’s groundbreaking in-arena coaching system introduced in 2017 – in collaboration with Apple – delivering real-time video highlights to coaches on the benches of every NHL arena. In 2019, he helped to develop the next phase of the NHL’s in-arena coaching system with the launch of the SAP-NHL Coaching Insights App for iPad, providing access to real-time, customized data and player statistics during the game on home and away benches in all 31 arenas.

Lehanski has also been integral in the development of the NHL’s highly-anticipated Puck and Player Tracking technology, which will be installed in all 31 NHL arenas at some point during the 2019-20 season.

Before joining the NHL, Lehanski served as vice president of marketing solutions at Clear Channel Advantage where he worked with Fortune 500 advertisers/marketers to develop, sell, and activate fully integrated media/marketing solutions that leveraged all of Clear Channel’s assets. Previously, Lehanski was the co-founder and Vice President of HallOfSports.com, an online company focused on the distribution of sports memorabilia and collectibles with a long-term goal of consolidating the industry. He also spent several years as a consultant on the agency side at SFX Sports and Clarion Sports & Entertainment.

Lehanski was named to SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty Under 40” Class of 2012, recognizing executives for excellence and innovation in their industry before the age of 40.

David Liss, Bleacher Report, VP of Analytics and Strategy

David Liss has been with Bleacher Report for more than six years and currently oversees analytics and business strategy.

In analytics, Liss identifies insights in audience behavior and content performance in order to help improve Bleacher Report’s content and grow its audience. In business strategy, he identifies areas of strategic long-term growth for the business and builds the process necessary to get those initiatives off the ground.

Liss spreads across working with all parts of the business to ensure that the decisions made are cohesive, efficient, and are aligned with long-term brand, revenue, and audience goals. He has helped the company grow into its current position as the most engaged sports media brand in the world.

His previous roles at the company include senior director of strategy, senior director of operations, director of content operations, and manager of content operations.

Prior to joining Bleacher Report, Liss worked for Deloitte Consulting as a strategy & operations consultant. There, he took on numerous leadership positions in internal firm activities in order to help clients understand strategy development and management across industries like technology, healthcare, and retail.

Liss received his B.A. from Pomona College in 2010, after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley.

Stephanie Lone, CBS Sports Digital, Senior Vice President of Engineering

In her role, Stephanie Lone leads the technology teams for CBS Interactive’s sports properties, which include CBS Sports HQ, CBSSports.com, CBS Sports Fantasy, 247Sports, MaxPreps, SportsLine, SportsLive and Scout. Lone oversees all technical aspects of these properties across all digital platforms.

Lone first joined SportsLine.com in 1997 and has held a variety of roles within CBS Interactive over a span of 20 years. She spent eight years leading the central technology teams for advertising and order management systems, data warehousing, CRM systems and video. Lone also previously ran the CBS Sports Digital product team, and has managed CBS Sports’ record-breaking digital live streams for several marquee events including Super Bowl LIII and Super Bowl 50.

Lone holds a BA in Multidisciplinary Studies from North Carolina State University, and has a patent for a system focused on targeting offers to a website’s users. She is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Geir Magnusson Jr., fuboTV, CTO

Geir Magnusson Jr. joined fuboTV in early March 2018 as CTO. He was the Co-Founder of Sourcepoint Inc. and served as its Chief Technology Officer. He served as the Chief Technology Officer at AppNexus Inc. since April 7, 2014 and served as its Senior Vice President of Engineering. Magnusson Jr. served as the Chief Technology Officer at Viggle Inc. (formerly Function (X) Inc.) from May 2011 to May 14, 2013. Magnusson Jr. has a proven track record in building scalable secure platforms for entertainment, e-commerce and the financial markets. He served as Chief Architect and Vice President of Platform Engineering at Gilt Groupe. He Co-founded MongoDB, Inc., and served as its VP of Engineering. He is seen as both a Technical Executive and an international leader in open source software.

David McLary, NBC Sports Group Digital, VP, Video Technology

David McLary was named VP of video technology for NBC Sports Digital in 2017. In the role, McLary manages the live streaming and VOD delivery platforms that power NBC Sports Digital and Playmaker Media, including operational tools, encoding solutions, video players, distribution workflows, and direct-to-consumer video delivery.

In 2018, NBC Sports Digital and Playmaker Media streamed coverage of some of the most prestigious properties in sports, including Super Bowl LII, the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, and the World Cup. NBC Sports Digital streaming coverage of Super Bowl LII peaked at 3.1 million concurrent viewers, making it the largest domestic streaming sports event in history. The 2018 PyeongChang Olympics also set Winter Games records, streaming 1.85 billion live minutes and 2.17 billion total minutes. Telemundo’s World Cup coverage shattered all Spanish language records in the United States, garnering the most live streamed match in Spanish-language history (Mexico v Sweden, 6.9 million live minutes).

McLary joined NBCUniversal in 2014 as a senior director of video platform engineering. In the role he built digital video solutions across NBCU properties, including NBC Digital, USA Network, Syfy, Oxygen, CNBC, and Telemundo.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, McLary served as senior director of media playback for MLB Advanced Media. There, McLary led client-side media playback development platforms and applications for industry leading products, including MLB.TV, At Bat, ESPN3, and WWE Network.

McLary began his career at Ernst & Young as director of creative services and infrastructure before moving on to also hold roles at ACTV, Harcourt Education, and The Princeton Review.

McLary reports to Eric Black, CTO, NBC Sports Digital and Playmaker Media.

A native of Alexandria, VA (by way of Wisconsin), McLary earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music composition from Brown University and is a beleaguered Washington sports fan.

Fritz Seifts, Limelight Networks, Principal Architect

Friedrich Seifts has an extensive background in global-scale distributed infrastructure and platforms across multiple industries. He recently joined Limelight Networks as a principal architect to help innovate and grow Limelight’s CDN and video platforms including its newly released award-winning product, Limelight Realtime Streaming, which delivers live video content across the globe with sub-second latency.

Prior to joining Limelight, Seifts led the Core Infrastructure Organization at Major League Baseball Advanced Media and it’s subsequent spin-offs BAMTECH Media / Disney Streaming Services, powering some of the largest live video and VOD delivery events in the industry.

Tim Sullivan, FloSports, Chief Product Officer

Sullivan has been with FloSports since January 2015. Leading the product management, engineering and design teams, Tim creates the best user experiences across all platforms for FloSports viewers.

Prior to joining FloSports, Tim founded MarketZero Inc. while attending the University of Illinois. He sold the company to Zynga in 2011. As the Lead Product Manager of Zynga, his team designed and built the HTML5 version of Zynga Poker. As a result of his work, Tim and his team received the company-wide “Innovation Award” for the most innovative project in Zynga that year.

While the VP of Product at Boxer, Tim managed the user experience and grew the user base from a few hundred users to more than 150,000 monthly active users in under one year.

Tim and his wife, who also is the VP of Product at another startup, both live in Austin. Originally from Chicago, he enjoys cycling, food and design.

Jason Thibeault, Streaming Video Alliance, Executive Director

Jason Thibeault is the executive director of the Streaming Video Alliance, a global association of companies collaborating to solve critical challenges in delivering a better streaming video experienceand increasing adoption.

Prior to this role, Thibeault spent eight years at Limelight Networks, a leading CDN, where he held several roles including product manager and marketing strategist. Thibeault is an inventor on multiple technical patents in the streaming industry and a proven entrepreneur. He is also a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine.

Steven Thorpe, Fox (Sports, News, & Entertainment), VP, Video Platforms

Steven Thorpe is vice president, video platforms at Fox Corporation where he is responsible for audience facing video solutions and operations across the company’s portfolio of sports, news, entertainment, and local apps/websites.

Since joining Fox, Thorpe has led an overhaul of the video supply chain and content delivery ecosystem focusing on quality of service and delivering a “better than TV” customer experience. Additionally, he led the launch team in the creation of FOX NOW Live, offering a simulcast of the network’s programming across web, mobile, and living room devices, in what was and remains the only broadcast network to offer pay TV customers in all 210 television markets nationwide a live stream of its primetime entertainment and sports programming.

Prior to his current role, Thorpe worked at NBCUniversal in a variety of positions – including on the NBC.com team responsible for the award-winning iPad app and full episode player.

Thorpe began his career as part of the College Football production team at Fox Sports while attending the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

Joe Walker, Crispin Corporation, a Sony Group Company, Senior Director of Technical Services

Around the office, Joe Walker, Crispin’s senior director of technical services, is known as a walking encyclopedia of the Crispin software, thanks to his good memory. In fact, there’s a standing joke that Crispin needs to invent a “Pocket Joe” mini reference guide so that other staff members can leverage his knowledge.

Prior to joining Crispin in 2007, Walker worked for WCFE, the local PBS station in his hometown of Plattsburgh, NY, where he was responsible for bringing the station’s first simple automation system online. A few years later, as the station converted from analog to digital, Walker was instrumental in evaluating and selecting a new platform to help make the switchover.

Walker’s natural instinct to tinker with things is what makes him particularly suited for the broadcast industry. One of his favorite parts of working at Crispin is being able to work with customers to provide solutions to their unique challenges.

James Wilson, IBM Aspera, Director of Engineering, Aspera Platform

James Wilson leads engineering and product for IBM Aspera SAAS and private cloud offeringsincluding IBM Aspera on Cloud, a leading SAAS that delivers rich collaboration, delivery, automation, monitoring, and advanced infrastructure administration capabilities to the world’s largest content producers. His technical expertise includes scalable containerized microservice-based systems, multicloud architecture, systems engineering, networking, and continuous delivery. Most recently, he has been working with industry partners in content production and delivery on the Digital Asset Trust Framework, a blockchain-based initiative designed to improve trust in cloud-based workflows for high value media. Outside of work, James enjoys mentoring youth in pursuing STEM careers and collecting vintage computers.

BA Winston, Amazon Prime Video, Global Head of Digital Video Playback and Delivery

Winston has been with Amazon Prime Video for five years. In his role, he is responsible for product, tech and operations of all the core video/audio related technologies for VOD and Live including delivery of the content at scale globally and playback of the content on all Prime Video apps across 100s of devices. He led the initial launch of the live platform for Prime Video and has continued to lead the efforts to scale Live Sports for Prime Video. Prior to Amazon, he was VP&GM at Sirius XM.

Dave Zur, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, SVP, Operations and Engineering

Dave Zur became general manager of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment’s Network Operations Center in 2014.  Zur oversees all operations, engineering, and facility activities surrounding channel originations for Altitude Sports, World Fishing Network, Outdoor Channel, and Sportsman Channel.

Since 2008, Zur also has served as senior vice president of operations and engineering with technical oversight supporting all KSE Media Ventures assets. Zur joined Altitude as vice president of operations at the launch of the network in 2004 having worked previously as the chief engineer of Pepsi Center Broadcast starting in 2001.

During his tenure, Zur has been involved in almost all aspects of venue and network operations and growth initiatives including the acquisition, build-out, and live-transitions of multiple national and regional sports networks to and from the KSE Network Operations Center. Starting in 2008, the 40,000sq ft. KNOC building in Centennial, Colorado was transformed into a multi-channel origination and uplink facility. It currently hosts the four KSE Networks servicing approximately 50m homes, complete studio facilities, and over 50 technical bays of edit and media prep supporting linear, live streaming, app, and social media deliveries.

Zur holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and media communications from Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is also a Sports Video Group Board Member and serves on the MSU Board of Academic Advisors.