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ESPN+ to be led by Wolff

Media group Disney has named Russell Wolff as executive vice-president and general manager of ESPN+, its direct-to-consumer video service which launched in April.

Wolff is a long-time executive at US pay-television broadcaster ESPN, having first joined ESPN International in 1997 as vice-president, managing the company’s business interests in the Pacific Rim.

Most recently, Wolff served as executive vice-president and managing director of ESPN International, where he was responsible for all of ESPN’s international businesses.

In his new role, where he will report to Michael Paull, president of Disney Streaming Services, Wolff will manage ESPN+ along with working on the overall management and commercialisation of ESPN-branded digital products.

Wolff said: “ESPN+ is in the first inning of a very long game. There is a tremendous opportunity to grow the service and expand our position as the leading streaming service and provider of digital products for sports fans.”

Moving forward, the regional general managers of the ESPN International businesses will report directly into the regional leadership of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment outside of the US.

ESPN International’s content, programming and production leaders will continue to report directly into ESPN.