×

Facebook Recruits Eurosport Chief Peter Hutton to Lead Global Sports-Rights Deals

Facebook has hired Eurosport CEO Peter Hutton to head up the social network’s efforts to broker worldwide deals for live-streaming sports, Variety has confirmed.

At Facebook, Hutton will be focused on securing global sports rights and based in Silicon Valley, according to sources. He’ll report to Dan Reed, Facebook’s head of global sports partnerships who was previously with the NBA. Hutton is set to join Facebook following the 2018 Winter Olympic Games next month.

Facebook declined to comment. Reps for Eurosport did not respond to requests for more info. Hutton’s coming move to Facebook was first reported by the Guardian.

Hutton, reached via email, declined to comment. He said he is about to embark on month-long sojourn to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he will oversee Eurosport’s coverage of the games (which run Feb. 9-25).

“I’m trying to keep focused on delivering the best Olympic Games possible for Eurosport/Discovery,” Hutton wrote.

Facebook’s hire of the Eurosport CEO is another strong signal of the social giant’s appetite for live sports as a core part of its video-growth strategy. The company had been actively recruiting for a sports dealmaker who will have “a few billion dollars” to vie for global rights deals, Sports Business Journal reported in late November.

Notably, last year the social giant entered a $600 million bid for five-year rights to Indian Premier League cricket matches over five years, ultimately losing to 21st Century Fox’s Star India.

In the first half of 2017, there were 3,500 live sports broadcasts on Facebook. But only a small percentage of those were paid partnerships such as Facebook’s deals with Fox Sports for UEFA Champions League soccer for the U.S., Major League Baseball for weekly games, and sports-media venture Stadium for a batch of American collegiate basketball games.

Meanwhile, Facebook has opted to sit out bidding for the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package for the 2018 season, which the league is currently shopping to TV nets and digital distributors, as first reported by Bloomberg. Amazon had global streaming rights to “TNF” this past season, after Twitter had them in 2016.

Hutton, currently based in Paris, joined Eurosport in 2015 after Discovery bought a majority-stake ownership in the pan-regional sports programmer. Discovery bought full control of Eurosport later that year, just after clinching multiplatform rights to the four Olympic Games between 2018–2024 for most Euro markets.

Of interest to Facebook, Hutton has overseen the expansion of the Eurosport Player subscription service — available in 52 markets in 20 languages — which provides live streaming access to select events. All told, Eurosport’s operations span 69 countries in Europe and Asia-Pacific with a TV portfolio of six channels including the flagship Eurosport, which broadcasts over 3,000 hours of live sports per year.

Before joining Eurosport, Hutton was co-CEO of the MP & Silva sports rights agency. Prior to that he worked at Fox International Channels to launch its sports business outside the Americas, including the acquisition of Setanta Sports in Africa and ESPN/Star Sports in Asia. He became CEO of ESPN/Star Sports based out of Singapore and oversaw its rebranding into Fox Sports in Asia and Star Sports in India.

More Digital

  • Hulu-Logo

    Comcast Mulling Sale of Hulu Stake to Disney (Report)

    Comcast is holding talks with Disney to see if they can hammer out a deal to sell Comcast’s one-third stake in Hulu to the Mouse House — which would give Disney full control over Hulu, CNBC reported. The report comes a little over a week after AT&T sold its 9.5% stake in Hulu to the [...]

  • Cox Cable Testing a Form of

    Cox Cable Testing a Form of 'Fast Lane' Internet For Gamers

    Cox Cable is testing a new “Elite Gamer Service” a form of fast lane service for gamers that would prioritize internet use for those willing to pay an extra $15 a month. The service is currently being tested in Arizona and only works with Windows PCs. Cox Elite Gamer “automatically finds a faster path for [...]

  • Angie-Nwandu-The-Shade-Room

    The Shade Room, a Top Instagram Celebrity and Gossip Publisher, Unveils First Slate of Original Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Shade Room, a top Instagram-based media publisher focused on black culture, entertainment and celebrity gossip, is launching three new original series on the social platform. The five-year-old venture, the brainchild of entrepreneur Angelica Nwandu, runs one of the most highly engaged accounts on Instagram: @TheShadeRoom, which has 15.3 million followers (referred to as “Roommates”), [...]

  • Offset, Cardi B. Offset, left, and

    Cardi B and Offset Join Muzik Founder Jason Hardi for Brilliant Minds Conference

    Muzik founder Jason Hardi is scheduled to speak alongside Cardi B and Offset at the Brilliant Minds Conference, taking place in Stockholm on June 13 to 15. The symposium centered around the intersection between culture and technology was founded by Spotify CEO Daniel Ek. They join previously announced speakers Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of [...]

  • Fable Premieres "Wolves in the Walls:

    Fable's Neil Gaiman VR Experience ‘Wolves in the Walls’ Gets Sequel at Tribeca

    San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable is premiering the second part of “Wolves in the Walls,” a VR experience based on the Neil Gaiman children’s book by the same name, at the Tribeca Film Festival this week. “Wolves in the Walls: It’s All Over” effortlessly connects to the existing story, and immerses viewers in the [...]

  • Universal Games - Series Your Story

    Universal Games Launches Episodic Game App With 'Saved by the Bell,' 'Law & Order,' 'Bridesmaids,' Other NBCU Properties

    NBCUniversal sees a potential $200 million-plus jackpot in adapting some of its old TV and movie franchises into an interactive storytelling game. The company’s Universal Games and Digital Platforms group on Thursday is launching a new, free-to-play mobile game, “Series: Your Story Universe” that lets players pick an avatar and play through different episodes of [...]

  • Kenny-Mitchell-Snap

    Snap Taps McDonald's Marketing Exec Kenny Mitchell as First CMO

    Snap, as part of rebuilding its senior exec team and angling to boost growth, has hired its first chief marketing officer: Kenny Mitchell, a consumer-marketing veteran who has worked at McDonald’s, Gatorade, NBC Sports Group and NASCAR. Mitchell will join the company in June 2019, reporting to CEO and cofounder Evan Spiegel. Mitchell will lead [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content