×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Animal Planet Chief Susanna Dinnage Steps Down to Run English Premier League

One of Discovery’s top international executives, Animal Planet global chief Susanna Dinnage, is jumping ship to take the top job at the English Premier League.

The Premier League is England’s top soccer league and also hugely popular around the world. The TV rights are among the most lucrative in international sports.

Dinnage’s move is a surprise, coming not long after she was upped to become the first-ever global boss at Animal Planet. A successor has not been announced. Just last month, Dinnage told Variety about her plans for the Discovery-owned natural history channel.

She will now swap wildlife for soccer stadiums, beginning in early 2019. She replaces Richard Scudamore at the Premier League. He leaves at the end of 2018 after almost 20 years.

“We had a very strong field, but Susanna was the outstanding choice given her track record in managing complex businesses through transformation and digital disruption,” said Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea Football Club and the Premier League’s nominations committee.

“She is a leading figure in the broadcasting industry, a proven business executive and a great developer of people. She is ideally suited to the role and we are confident she will be able to take the Premier League on to new heights.”

JB Perrette, President and CEO of Discovery Networks International, said: “Susanna has been a terrific leader for Discovery over the last 10 years. She has a strong understanding of brands and running diverse media businesses both in the U.K. and more recently with Animal Planet globally.

“She has been a fantastic teammate for all of us at Discovery, and we are delighted that she has been given this unique and groundbreaking opportunity to lead one of the world’s preeminent sports organizations.”

Dinnage, who was upped from U.K. boss at Discovery when she took the Animal Planet role, will start at the Premier League at a yet-to-be-decided date in 2019. Her move from Discovery, ironically, comes as the U.S.-listed company gets more deeply into international sports. Having bought Eurosport it has landed European rights to the Olympics and is launching a golf streaming service with the PGA Tour.

“The Premier League means so much to so many people,” Dinnage said. “It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organisation is a great privilege. With the support of clubs and the team, I look forward to extending the success of the League for many years to come.”

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content