Animal Planet Boss Susanna Dinnage Steps Down to Run Premier League

Machester United Liverpool English Premiere League - H 2014
AP Photo/Jon Super

The veteran TV executive will replace Richard Scudamore as head of the prestigious U.K.-based soccer league steeped in lucrative broadcast and streaming rights.

Animal Planet global head Susanna Dinnage is stepping down to run the English Premier League, the U.K.-based pro soccer league heavily steeped in lucrative TV and streaming rights.

Dinnage will replace Richard Scudamore as the new CEO of the Premier League in early 2019, as she leaves her post as global president of Discovery's Animal Planet.

"I am excited at the prospect of taking on this fantastic role.... The Premier League means so much to so many people. It represents the pinnacle of professional sport and the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and inspirational organization is a great privilege," Dinnage said Tuesday in a statement.

NBCUniversal's NBC Sports Group has U.S. rights for the English Premier League as it eyes early-bird sports fans for matches played in the U.K. and which air live across the Atlantic. Streaming video giant Amazon earlier this year acquired a package of rights for the Premier League in the U.K.

The most-watched soccer league in the world features such teams as Manchester City, Manchester United, London clubs Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, as well as Liverpool.

Bruce Buck, chairman of Chelsea FC and the Premier League’s nominations committee said Dinnage won out over a strong field of contenders for the head of the world's richest sports league. "We are very pleased to appoint such a capable leader to this important role," Buck said in his own statement.