ESPN expands Classen's role to include UK commercial director

LONDON - Charly Classen, senior director of business development for EMEA at ESPN, has taken on the additional role of commercial director for the UK as the sports broadcaster ramps up its London based operations.

ESPN: broadcaster ramps up London operations
ESPN: broadcaster ramps up London operations

In addition to continuing to lead business development efforts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Classen will now work on subscriber retention and acquisition in the UK.

Classen reports into Lynne Frank, ESPN's managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

As part of his newly expanded role Classen will work with internal and external partners on channel pricing, packaging and offers, and will evaluate programming and acquisition opportunities for the channel.

Classen joined ESPN in 2006 and was promoted to senior business development director from the role of business development director. At ESPN Classen played a pivotal role in the acquisitions of Cricinfo, Racing Live and Scrum, and the launch of an EMEA version oaf the ESPN360 video player.

Before he joined ESPN Classen worked at 'X Factor' producer Freemantle Media from 2001 to 2006 as vice president of participation TV and director of business diversification.

On Tuesday (6 April) ESPN announced it has won the rights to distribute Premier League highlights to mobile phones from next season, beating current rights holder BSkyB.

ESPN raised its profile as a sports broadcaster in the UK when it won the rights to broadcast live English Premier League matches for the first time in June 2009.

ESPN secured the rights to air 46 games for the current 2009/2010 season and 23 games in each of the next three seasons following the demise of the previous rights holder Setanta.

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