2023 SVG Sports OTT Forum


Michael Allen, Bally Sports, Chief Product Officer

As chief product officer for Bally Sports, Michael Allen is responsible for the Bally Sports digital portfolio across multiple media platforms. He oversees all aspects of Bally Sports digital products, including Bally Sports+, the direct-to-consumer subscription service available to fans in all Bally Sports regional markets.

Prior to joining Bally Sports, Allen worked for the NBA where he oversaw the League’s digital portfolio. He oversaw product development and operations for the network of 100+ NBA websites, NBA Mobile & Connected TV Apps, and NBA LEAGUE PASS, the league’s full-season, live-game subscription service available to fans in more than 200 countries and territories.

Allen also led all digital products for the NBA GLEAGUE and WNBA as well as digital development, operations, and content management for all 30 NBA teams.

During his 20-year career at the NBA, Allen was instrumental in many groundbreaking digital initiatives, including the launch of NBA LEAGUE PASS; the launch of the league’s 19 international websites; NBA All-Star balloting on multiple platforms; and the first NBA mobile and connected TV application. In 2015, Allen was honored by the Sports Business Journal with a Forty Under 40 Award and in 2020, Allen won a Sports Emmy for the digital presentation of the NBA Bubble.

Prior to rejoining the NBA in 2006 as director of digital products, Allen worked for MTV Networks, where he managed digital products for the VH1 brand, overseeing numerous online, gaming, and mobile launches. He began his career with the NBA in 1999 as a department assistant, where he was responsible for tracking and analyzing website traffic and trends for both the league and individual team websites. Allen began his career in sports working in the marketing department for both the New York Knicks and New York Liberty.

Allen graduated from Franklin & Marshall College with a bachelor’s degree in history. He resides in Ramsey, NJ with his family.

Michael Brown, Fortinet, Field CISO

Michael Brown is the field chief information security officer (CISO)  at Fortinet, where he serves as a senior strategic business and technical advisor. Brown brings a deep understanding of the business needs and technology, while balancing security and regulatory impact to help organizations create revenue from their digital transformation and efficiencies. He believes that cybersecurity is the key discipline that is critical to all business endeavors.

Prior to joining Fortinet, Brown held engineering, business development, and leadership positions at some of the largest global financial services firms. Before this, he was a software engineer with focus on low-latency electronic trading. Brown began his career as a C++ programmer at IBM with focus on network programming. He is also a veteran and served in the United States Navy.

Brown holds a master’s degree in telecommunications from Pace University and is completing his second master’s degree in cybersecurity at Georgia Tech.

Keith Buckley, Xytech Systems, Chief Executive Officer

Keith Buckley serves as chief executive officer of Xytech Systems, the leading provider of end-to-end media operations for the world’s premier media and broadcast entities. 

His 25-year career has focused on building and leading companies in high-growth technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sectors, including tech-enabled services, software, and high-tech manufacturing companies.  

Prior to Xytech Systems, Buckley was the chief executive officer of Federos (now an Oracle company), The Switch, ASC Signal Corporation, Juke Systems, and InSight Telecommunications Corporation. He received his B.S. in telecommunications and film from San Diego State University.

Brandon Costa, SVG, Director of Digital; SVG Sports OTT Forum Program Director

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.

Jason Dachman, SVG, Chief Editor

Jason Dachman oversees all aspects of SVG’s North American editorial operations, including the thrice-weekly SVG Insider newsletter and SVG’s annual print publications. A member of the SVG team since 2009, Dachman also serves as program director for SVG’s RSN Summit, Sports Content Management Forum, Sports Graphics Forum, and TranSPORT event. Prior to joining SVG, he spent three years covering local sports for The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, MA, and two years on the production staff of SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s The Ron & Fez Show. Dachman began his career in the Sports Information Department at Northeastern University in Boston, where he also earned a B.A. in media communications and cinema studies.

Ed Derse, National Lacrosse League, Broadcast Operations and Technology Consultant

Edward Derse is currently principal at Haydon Advisors, based in Los Angeles, CA, developing digital and operational strategies for high-growth businesses focusing on digital product development, broadcast, and over-the-top (OTT) video production and distribution strategies. He creates and implements launch and operational plans for media networks on content acquisition, distribution, and connected-TV platform rollout with a specialty in international sports, video games, and media businesses.

Since Fall of 2020, Derse has served as a broadcast operations consultant for the National Lacrosse League, designing and implementing the League’s IP-based remote live game production and distribution solution utilizing a hybrid model of traditional hardware and cloud-based production solutions.

From 2016 – 2018, Derse was managing director of The Rugby Channel, a subscription OTT service, until its sale to Flo Sports. From 2013 through 2015, he was senior vice president of digital media and strategic partnerships at Universal Sports Network, with full management and P&L responsibility for its digital media business and for developing new partnerships and programming initiatives in action, endurance, and Olympic sports. In 2015, Derse developed USN’s pay-per-view streaming product for Rugby World Cup 2015. From 2008 – 2013, he was vice president of product and general manager, media for GameFly, the subscription videogames service. Derse managed all consumer-facing digital products including GameFly.com, multiple web properties, Game Q digital magazine and GameFly’s highly-rated mobile applications. From 2000 – 2008, he held several positions at News Corporation’s Fox Sports, eventually serving as vice president of interactive for Fox Sports International where he managed all digital initiatives and the digital P&L for FSI’s international sports channels, including Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Deportes, and Fox Sports Latin America.

Derse began his career working for the non-profit LA84 Foundation where he launched multiple digital products including the foundation’s first website in early 1995. He received B.A. (with special honors) and M.A. degrees from the University of Chicago.

Robert Erickson, TAG Video Systems, VP, Live Production and Sports

Robert Erickson is the vice president of live production and sports for TAG Video Systems. A member of the TAG team since 2023, he has more than 24 years of experience in the broadcast and IT markets with previous roles covering systems engineering, IT network design, and RF transmission systems. Recently, his focus has been on designing and implementing adaptable, software-centric workflow tools that can scale from on-premises solutions to worldwide, cloud-based infrastructures.  Throughout his career, Erickson’s focus has been on designing and maintaining live production systems based on both traditional and emerging technologies for broadcast customers.

Erickson is an active participant and frequent presenter in many of the major industry associations, including the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE), Society of Television Engineers (STE), Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPTE), and Hollywood Professional Association (HPA).

Joel Feld, National Lacrosse League, EVP, Broadcast and Content

In his role at the National Lacrosse League, Joel Feld is responsible for all aspects of the league’s broadcast business, production, and operations – including media rights, content distribution partnerships, content creation, technology, and the live production of the league’s 140+ regular season and playoff game inventory.

Feld began his career at ABC Sports where he crisscrossed the world producing hundreds of live domestic and international events including four Olympics, Monday Night Baseball, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, College Football, the America’s Cup, and the Tour de France. He also served as co-creator and executive producer of ABC SportsBeat with Howard Cosell and as co-creator and executive producer of ABC SportsNight, the network’s late-night sports variety show. In addition, Feld has developed and co-produced numerous documentaries, specials, and long-form premium content and scripted specials for CBS Sports, MTV, HBO Sports, and A&E.

From 2012- 2017, Feld served as executive vice president of ONE World Sports, the national sports network that delivered domestic and international live, exclusive events to subscribers in the U.S and Canada. Part of the team of executives that focused on the network’s creation and launch, he was responsible for a varied portfolio of business lines including developing the network’s programming strategy, negotiations and business affairs, production, broadcast/technology operations, marketing, and digital strategy. At the time of the networks’ sale, ONE World Sports had grown its distribution to be available in 45 million homes across linear cable, satellite, broadband, and OTT services.

From 2005 to 2011, Feld served as executive vice president of programming and executive producer for the New England Sports Network (NESN), the regional and national sports network owned by the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Bruins. Upon his arrival, he led the company’s move from Fenway Park to a new, 15,000 square foot, HD broadcast facility in Watertown, MA while re-imagining and re-launching the network’s content, live remote, studio and news productions, talent, and broadcast operations. Feld’s portfolio included leading the strategic and creative direction of the network’s content, programming, original program development, acquisitions and negotiations, talent, talent development, production, operations, and its introduction to the digital space with the launch of NESN.com. Over the course of his tenure, NESN was the highest rated regional sports network in the United States.

Prior to joining NESN, Feld served as executive vice president and executive producer for CSTV Networks, now CBS Sports Network. He joined CSTV at launch in June 2003 and was responsible for creating and managing the network’s production management teams and guiding its strategic and day-to-day operations, including key roles in strategic planning, production, original show development, and talent.

From 1995 to 2003, Feld served as president of SFX/Clear Channel Entertainment Television, guiding the division’s portfolio of properties and its acquired production companies, Tollin-Robbins Productions, ProServ, and Black Canyon Productions. He served as senior vice president for the television division of the SFX Sports Group and the Marquee Group prior to its acquisition by Clear Channel Communications in 2001.

Feld is a multiple award-winning executive with a demonstrated history of work in the broadcast, cable, and digital media industry. He has a deep background in the domestic and international sports broadcast, cable, emerging platforms, and digital media arenas. Feld has held leadership roles in executive management; programming and production; content and program development; linear and digital content creation and syndication; acquisitions and negotiations; talent development; talent strategy; and broadcast journalism.

Feld is the recipient of thirteen Emmy awards, four Cine Golden Eagle Awards, and two International Monitor Awards. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Outside of the media business, Feld is a performing musician, rhythm guitarist, and vocalist for the local classic rock band Not Sorry based in Westchester County, New York. Feld is married to Liz Feld, CEO, Radical Hope. She is the former president of Autism Speaks and Mayor of Larchmont, New York. They have three children and currently reside in Connecticut.

Craig Gorbunoff, Grabyo, Sales Engineer

Craig Gorbunoff is the sales engineer for Grabyo, a SaaS solution for live video production and content distribution in the cloud. Coming from a traditional production background, Gorbunoff loves helping clients jump into the world of cloud production. Prior to working at Grabyo, he was the director of video production and photography at New York Road Runners / TCS New York City Marathon and the lead video producer at Daily Racing Form, where he was nominated for an Emmy in 2020 and won the Eclipse Award in 2017.

Gorbunoff has a unique perspective on the world of production, working with high-end traditional broadcast hardware to consumer-level products, and is now paving the way in cloud production supporting a number of clients in cutting edge projects.

Ben Hayes, BitFire Networks, Director, Client Services

Ben Hayes is a seasoned broadcast media expert, bringing nearly two decades of industry prowess as a producer, reporter, and client services expert. Hayes lends his talents to BitFire as a client-facing broadcast leader while also supporting technical aspects of operations and assisting in BitFire’s business development efforts. Hayes started his career as a sports anchor and reporter for KTVZ, the NBC-affiliate in Bend, Oregon. From there, he spent the next seven years in Buffalo, New York as a sports reporter, producer, and videographer for NBC-affiliate, WGRZ. In 2012, Hayes joined SMT (SportsMEDIA Technology) in Durham, North Carolina moving from behind the camera to a client-facing role. Hayes spent the next eight years managing broadcast clients who oversaw events ranging from the Super Bowl, the Final Four, and the Olympic Games. His innate ability to support on-air productions, ensure quality control, manage client needs, and solve for unpredictable challenges is integral to his role at BitFire.

Kymberly Booth Higgs, Dragonfli Media Technologies, Producer

Kymberly Booth Higgs is in her twenty-sixth season as an Emmy-winning producer, story-teller, documentarian, and creative artist. From stadiums, concert halls, arenas, racetracks, adventure destinations, and live events around the world, Booth Higgs uncovers the hidden mysteries behind the players, behind the music, behind the sport, and behind the scenes. Her organizational detail, passion for perfection, and thorough research catalyzes the vision of each project to build a team intent on producing the unforgettable.

Faisal Ishtiaq, Comcast, Head of Media Analytics and AI Platforms

Faisal Ishtiaq is a senior director of media analytics and AI platforms at Comcast. He leads R&D teams focused on developing large scale AI platforms, product analytics engineering, and media analytics. His teams develop novel media experiences and technologies widely used across Xfinity, Sky, NBCU, and Peacock. Ishtiaq’s research interest include scene understanding, topic and sentiment analysis, emotion detection, content segmentation, and AI platform architectures.

Prior to Comcast, Ishtiaq led media research at Watchwith, which was acquired by Comcast in 2016. He holds over 40 patents and has published multiple scientific conference and journal papers. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Northwestern University.

Kevin Parks, Zixi, Senior Director, Field Engineering

Kevin Parks is a senior media technology executive with over 20 years of experience developing and deploying solutions for major media companies including Comcast, Disney, Viacom, and others. Parks leads the Zixi Field Engineering team as part of Zixi’s Customer Success organization that maintains best-in-class service for Zixi customers. Prior to joining Zixi, Parks lead sales engineering teams at Comcast Technology Solutions, at Disney Streaming Services, and at Vubiquity.

Gio Punzo, Streann Media, CEO

Gio Punzo is a transformational leader with a passion for innovation, with 20 years of experience in the telecom, broadcast, and streaming industries. He’s expertly launched cutting-edge technology products, built brands, and created winning team cultures.

Punzo has empowered the internet at Zoom Telephonics, connected global enterprises at Brooktrout Technology, expanded voice recognition networks while at Dialogic, and introduced streaming to all major broadcasters while at LiveU.

Punzo is the CEO and co-founder of Streann Media, a digital media OTT platform. With Streann, content providers can build the next Netflix or Spotify with new engagement features and market-first patent-pending Web 3.0 and monetization technologies.

Punzo graduated from Boston University, with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations. He has a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) and a post-master in business administration from Kellogg School of Management. He speaks English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuñol.

Vijay Sajja, Evergent, CEO and Founder

Vijay Sajja is the founder and CEO of Evergent. He drives the product vision and customer experience for the company, personally overseeing Evergent’s customer relationships among other aspects of the business. Sajja is a business and technology leader with over two decades of experience in building business and operations support systems for leading service providers around the world. Prior to Evergent, he founded and led Infotech Solutions, a technology services company that delivered subscriber billing and customer care solutions for leading technology and service companies including Echostar, Lucent Technologies, TCI, and Qwest. Sajja earned a master of technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India.

Dilip Singh, Fox Corporation, Senior Director, Video Engineering

Dilip Singh is the senior director of video engineering at Fox Corp. He has 16+ years of experience in architecting, developing, and deploying solutions for digital video platforms. Singh guides video engineering teams at Fox where the focus has been on building a next-gen low latency live streaming platform, including delivering Superbowls LIV & LVII in 4k.

Prior to joining Fox, Singh was awarded an Emmy for pioneering the integration of online digital platforms into NBC Universal’s live broadcast of Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Srini KA, Co-Founder and CRO

Srini is a technology entrepreneur with 23+ years of experience in establishing and successfully scaling businesses. He co-founded Amagi in 2008 and established it as a global leader in SaaS for broadcast and streaming TV on the cloud. As chief revenue officer, Srini is responsible for revenue growth inclusive of sales and marketing.

Before Amagi, Srini co-founded the wireless audio company, ImpulseSoft, which went on to become a market leader and was later acquired by the American semiconductor company, SiRF. Earlier, he started his career at Texas Instruments as a software engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Government College of Technology (GCT), Coimbatore, India.

Srini regularly speaks at global industry events, evangelizing the use of cloud for channel creation and monetization.

Bill Wishon, Phenix Real Time Solutions, CPO

Bill Wishon is an executive with over two decades of experience leading the vision and strategy within the media industry. He has a demonstrated history of planning and launching world-leading technologies, successfully driving profitability, growth, reliability, and quality through innovation.

Wishon’s career has taken him on a diverse path to the C-Suite, developing a unique combination of business, technology, and marketing expertise, which has provided a comprehensive skillset to successfully build business models, scale organizations, and execute overall business strategy.

Wishon started his career as an embedded software engineer and then co-founded a company called PictureIQ, an early digital media start-up spun out from Adobe. From there, he moved on to roles of sales engineer, senior product manager, director of marketing, executive in the CTO office, and ultimately his current role as a chief product officer for Phenix Real Time Solutions. Wishon has served in this role for the last four years, directing the company’s product strategy and roadmap. He has helped build and scale Phenix, growing the start-up and positioning the organization as a market leader.

People and innovation are always at the heart of what Wishon does. He focuses on empowering teams and supporting them with the necessary resources, technology, and vision to lead innovation and take organizations to the next level.

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