ESPN’s loss is NBC Sports’ gain. David Preschlack, a veteran of ESPN, has been hired by NBC Sports to oversee both the NBCUniversal unit’s portfolio of regional sports networks as well as digital distribution of its content.
His new assignment is effective February 1.
Preschlack, who long had a hand in navigating digital and mobile distribution deals for ESPN properties, had served as a consultant to the Walt Disney sports giant until the end of 2015. He formally left his position there, executive vice president, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney & ESPN Media Networks, in May of last year. Another top distribution and marketing executive, Sean Bratches, left ESPN at around the same time.
In his new role, Preschlack will run the NBC Sports Regional Networks portfolio, and will supervise each outlet’s general manager in a range of areas including sales, content and ongoing relationship management. He will also direct NBC Sports’ distribution strategy as the unit moves into new areas with existing and developing content.
He will report to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group.
“David’s wealth of experience with digital innovation and distribution, as well as programming creation and acquisitions are what today’s marketplace demands for executives,” said Lazarus, in a prepared statement. “As we look to the future, his background and ability put us in position to further succeed and to broaden our opportunities across our entire portfolio.”
At Disney, Preschlack took charge of how content was distributed on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices, including mobile apps and video-on-demand venues. He also oversaw the U.S. cable, telco and satellite affiliate sales, global distribution and strategy, digital video distribution and affiliate marketing for 16 of The Walt Disney Company’s linear networks, as well as their HDTV, video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, interactive television and pay-per-view products.
He joined ESPN in 1995 as a videotape librarian, and was promoted to various levels through the affiliate sales and marketing department. Prior to his most recent position, he was senior vice president, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney & ESPN Media Network Group, overseeing sales, business strategy, affiliate ad sales and affiliate marketing for all Disney and ESPN products and services in the U.S. Before that, Preschlack was senior vice president of national accounts, with responsibility for all domestic distribution and licensing efforts for The Walt Disney Company’s assets within the media networks group.