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Amazon has hired a veteran ESPN executive in a signal that it is getting more serious about sports programming.
The e-commerce giant has tapped Marie Donoghue as its new vice president overseeing global sports programming.
Donoghue brings nearly two decades of sports broadcast experience to Amazon, having spent 19 years at ESPN before departing in 2017. During her time there, she rose up the ranks, eventually overseeing digital verticals including FiveThirtyEight, Bill Simmons’ Grantland and The Undefeated. Donoghue was also in charge of ESPN Films, which included the 30 for 30 franchise. Her departure from ESPN came during a larger reshuffling at the company and as it largely disbanded its digital verticals business, shutting down Grantland after Simmons’ was fired from ESPN and ending its relationship with Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, which is now a part of the ABC News division.
Donoghue joins Amazon as the Seattle technology giant has made live sports a key piece of its video programming strategy. Amazon is nearing the start of its second season streaming live Thursday Night Football NFL games. It also offers Premiere League matches and the U.S. Open tennis tournament in the U.K. Amazon also offers sports programming like the documentary series All or Nothing.
Sports programming is part of Amazon’s larger effort to lure subscribers to its Prime subscription, known for offering free two-day shipping on many Amazon purchases. The company’s programming slate also includes scripted originals like the upcoming series Jack Ryan and The Romanoffs.
The Information first reported the hire.
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