×

ESPN Hires NFL Media’s Brian Lockhart to Head ESPN+ Original Content

ESPN recruited Brian Lockhart, who has spent more than a decade at NFL Media, as executive producer of original content for the ESPN+ subscription-streaming service.

Lockhart will oversee strategy and development for all ESPN+ original programming initiatives, including new projects as well as existing shows such as “Detail,” “More Than an Athlete,” “The Board Room,” “Earn Everything,” “Quest for the Stanley Cup” and “Draft Academy.” He reports to Libby Geist, VP and executive producer, ESPN Films and Original Content. Adam Neuhaus, director of development for ESPN Films and Original Content, along with his team will report directly to Lockhart.

Most recently, Lockhart was VP of NFL Media’s original content group, developing original content by leveraging league initiatives like Youth Football, Legends Community, My Cause, and Breast Cancer Awareness. Over a nearly 12-year tenure with NFL Media, he also served as VP of content development and programming and before that was a coordinating producer for features. Prior to the NFL, Lockhart worked at HBO Sports, first as a senior features producer and then creative director. Earlier in his career, Lockhart held production positions at ABC Sports and ESPN.

“Brian is an award-winning content creator who brings an incredibly creative mind and a vast array of experience in series development and sports media to this newly-created position,” Geist said in announcing Lockhart’s hire.

Disney is touting momentum for ESPN+, which topped 1 million subscribers last September (after migrating ESPN Insider subs to the service) and according to the company signed up over 568,000 new paying subscribers last Friday and Saturday, with the debut of “UFC Fight Night” on Jan. 19. (ESPN isn’t saying what the current subscriber count is.) In addition, the UFC broadcast on ESPN logged a metered market rating of 1.4, the largest for a UFC preliminary fight card on cable since 2013.

ESPN+, priced at $4.99 monthly or $49.99 annually, offers thousands of live and on-demand events not carried on TV as well as exclusive series and other original programming. “Our first ‘UFC Fight Night on ESPN+’ was a thrilling evening of action and a great success, with a record-setting night that continued the momentum for ESPN+, delivered strong ratings on ESPN and marks a great start to our new agreement with the UFC,” Kevin Mayer, chairman of Disney’s Direct-To-Consumer and International group, said in a statement.

In his new role, Lockhart will work with executives across both ESPN and DTCI’s Disney Streaming Services group, including Russell Wolff, executive VP and GM of ESPN+, and Craig Lazarus, VP of ESPN original content and features, who will continue to oversee production on ESPN+ original series.

Lockhart will relocate from L.A. to New York with his wife of 15 years, Vicki, and their two children.

More Digital

  • Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese

    Alibaba Buys 8% Stake in Chinese Video Platform Bilibili

    Alibaba has purchased an 8% stake in the Chinese online video platform Bilibili, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Bilibili is one of China’s top video streaming and entertainment platforms, with about 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Founded in 2009, it was listed on the NASDAQ last March. Alibaba’s [...]

  • Clevver-Logo

    Hearst Magazines Buys Clevver's Pop-Culture YouTube Channels After Defy's Demise

    Hearst Magazines has snapped up Clevver, a network of female-skewing lifestyle and pop-culture news YouTube channels that had been owned by now-defunct Defy Media. Clevver was left homeless after Defy’s sudden shutdown in November; its principals said at the time they were looking for a new home. Hearst Magazines sees a digital fit with Clevver’s [...]

  • "Brother" -- Episode 201-- Pictured (l-r):

    CBS Interactive's Marc DeBevoise on Streaming Boom, Content Strategy, and Apple

    Not everyone wants or needs to be Netflix to succeed in the streaming space. And not everyone sees Apple’s enigmatic new service as a threat. Even as rival streaming services offer gobs of content, CBS Interactive’s president and COO Marc DeBevoise sees the company’s targeted original programming strategy continuing to attract viewers to its All [...]

  • Rhett-Link-Good-Mythical-Morning

    Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment in Talks to Acquire Smosh (EXCLUSIVE)

    Smosh, the YouTube comedy brand left stranded after parent company Defy Media went belly-up, may be about to get a new business partner. Mythical Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by top YouTube comedy duo Rhett & Link, has been in talks about acquiring the Smosh brand, sources told Variety. Multiple potential buyers came forward to [...]

  • Pokemon Go

    Proposed 'Pokémon Go' Lawsuit Settlement May Remove Poké Stops, Gyms

    A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against “Pokémon Go” developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game. The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters [...]

  • Skyline of Doha at night with

    Qatar's beIN Rallies Support From U.S. Companies Against Pirate Broadcaster beoutQ

    Qatari powerhouse beIN Media Group has rallied support from American sports and entertainment entities, including Discovery and Fox, behind its request that the U.S. government place Saudi Arabia on its watch list of top intellectual property offenders. The Doha-based broadcaster, a state-owned spinoff of Al Jazeera news network, accuses the Saudi government of harboring pirate broadcaster [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content