Karajica exits ProSiebenSat.1 as 7Sports repositions itself

Željko Karajica, a leading figure in the German sports media-rights industry, is to leave ProSiebenSat.1, the commercial broadcasting group, amid a restructure of its sports unit 7Sports.

Thomas Port, managing director of SevenOne Media, the ProSiebenSat.1-owned advertising agency, will become one of two managing directors of 7Sports, joining Stefan Zant, who has been in place since its foundation in 2016.

As part of the restructuring, Karajica will step down as chairman of the executive board at 7Sports as he leaves ProSiebenSat.1 “at his own request” at the end of the month.

Announcing a new strategic direction for 7Sports, the commercial broadcast group said: “ProSiebenSat.1 is setting itself on the course for the further growth of its sports business unit. In the future, 7Sports will position itself as a leading digital sports marketer in the German-speaking region with strategic 360-degree partnerships.

“Through this, not only will our own products and activities be marketed, but also co-operations with third parties will be strategically implemented.”

Karajica and Zant came together to form 7Sports as a unit responsible for rights acquisition, new digital platforms, sports productions, events and athlete management.

In April 2019, 7Sports increased its stake in the DOSB New Media division of the German Olympic Sports Confederation by acquired a further 10-per-cent interest to up its stake to 67.5 per cent. Four months ago, 7Sports renewed its Virtual Bundesliga (VBL) rights agreement with the German Football League (DFL). That followed on from a joint venture in German-speaking countries with eSports.com AG, the Germany esports portal.

Karajica became chief operating officer and managing director of ProSiebenSat.1’s German broadcast arm in 2012. He was also previously the managing director of Sport1, the Constantin Medien-owned sports broadcaster formerly known as DSF. His sports broadcast experience also includes a spell as head of creative services at Premiere, the German pay-television broadcaster now known as Sky Deutschland.

He has also held management positions at Constantin Sport Medien and Plazamedia, the Constantin Medien-owned sports production company.