The Big Ten Network today announced that Mark Silverman will serve as the organization's first president. Silverman will manage the day-to-day operations of the network and will report to its Board of Directors. The Big Ten Network, scheduled to launch in August 2007, is dedicated exclusively to the Big Ten Conference and will be headquartered in Chicago.
"The Big Ten Conference is extremely pleased with the selection of Mark Silverman as the president of the Big Ten Network," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. "Mark's media and business experience coupled with his intelligence and personal leadership style equip him to successfully launch and lead this network."
"Mark Silverman is a great choice to be the president of the Big Ten Network," said Bob Thompson, president of Fox Sports Networks. "His industry experience speaks for itself, and we are confident that he will lead this network to great success."
Silverman comes to the Big Ten Network after serving as the general manager and senior vice president of ABC Cable Networks Group since April of 2004, managing the company's equity in such channels as Lifetime Television, A&E Network and the History Channel, each of which recorded their best financial performance in 2005. Silverman was also responsible for developing and launching new cable channels, shows and other key initiatives. He also served as the general manager of ABC Family Channel from 2003-04.
"I am honored to be named the first president of the Big Ten Network, and I look forward to working with Commissioner Delany and the entire Board of Directors," said Silverman. "My goal is to utilize my experience in both the cable television and sports industries to drive and sustain the success of this network."
Prior to joining ABC Family, Silverman was co-founder and president of Silverkings Media, a media/entertainment consulting company, from 2001-03, and senior vice president of Broadband Sports, an online sports content company, from 1999-2001.
His previous experience also consists of various leadership roles with the Walt Disney Company from 1991-1999, including serving as vice president of business development for ABC, Inc., General Manager of ESPN Zone and vice president of Walt Disney Studios.
Operating 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, the Big Ten Network is majority-owned by the Big Ten Conference, while Fox holds a minority interest in the network. The Big Ten Network will be the destination for Big Ten fans around the country. Showcasing a wide array of classic-to-current sports as well as original programming produced by the conference's 11 institutions, it will be available to all carriers and distributors nationwide.
The Big Ten Conference is an association of 11 world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes' lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $89 million in athletic scholarship aid to more than 8,400 men and women student-athletes who compete for 25 championships, 12 for men and 13 for women. Conference institutions sponsor broad-based athletic programs with more than 270 teams. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.
Fox Cable Networks (FCN), a unit of the Fox Networks Group, a wholly owned division of News Corporation (NYSE: NWS), includes 30 domestic programming services in which News Corporation holds interests. These networks collectively service more than 400 million television homes and represent one of the media industry's largest and most diverse groups of programming operations. FCN networks include FX, FSN and its 18 owned-and-operated regional sports networks; National Geographic Channel; National Geographic Channel HD; SPEED; FUEL TV; Fox College Sports; Fox Soccer Channel; Fox Sports en Español; Fox Movie Channel, Fox Reality and the Big Ten Network. FCN also includes Fox Sports Enterprises, which manages interests in sports franchises and leading statistical information provider STATS, LLC.