Discovery Hires BBC's Ralph Rivera to Head up Eurosport Digital

Ralph Rivera, managing director Eurosport Digital - H 2016
Courtesy of Discovery Communications

He is charged with "leading the aggressive expansion of Eurosport’s digital businesses."

Discovery Communications has hired BBC digital guru Ralph Rivera to the newly created position of managing director, Eurosport Digital.

He will begin the role on Sept. 26, based in London, and will report to Michael Lang, executive vp international development & digital for Discovery Communications. He will also work closely with Peter Hutton, CEO of Eurosport, and his leadership team.

Rivera joins from U.K. public broadcaster BBC, where he spent six years as director, BBC Digital, and was responsible for all digital media services, including the launch of VOD service BBC iPlayer. Prior to the BBC, Rivera spent 10 years at AOL, including as senior vp and managing director of games.

Pan-European sports network Eurosport has grown its digital reach in addition to its TV ratings. Rivera is "charged with leading the aggressive expansion of Eurosport’s digital businesses, which today include – the continent’s number one sports news website, and Eurosport Player – the leading subscription-based OTT sports platform across Europe giving fans an all-access pass anytime and on any device in 52 countries," Discovery said.

The company added, "With hundreds of millions of mobile data subscribers and growing OTT momentum via connected TVs, Europe provides a significant strategic opportunity to leverage both Rivera’s successful track record of creating immersive digital video products and Discovery’s recent investments in premium sports content."

Rivera said: "Having enjoyed numerous successes with the BBC, my next move had to be big. The opportunity I have in leading the digital business at Eurosport is an amazing challenge, and working closely with Discovery’s world-class teams at Eurosport and across local markets, I hope to build next generation digital sports products, ensuring Eurosport consumers across Europe can enjoy more action, when and where they choose to view it.”

Lang lauded Rivera as "one of the most forward-thinking digital executives in the world," adding, "Ralph brings extensive knowledge in the direct-to-consumer space, with a deep understanding of the digital landscape in Europe and a strong reputation for innovation and transformation. His product-centric mind-set and technology orientation will help us to grow Eurosport Digital."