John Skipper has landed a new gig. UK based Perform Group, the parent company of sports media streaming channel DAZN, has announced that Skipper will become the company’s executive chairman and will be working out of New York.
According to the announcement, Skipper will oversee all operations and report to CEO Simon Denyer, who will remain in London.
“Simon and his team have built an enormously impressive company providing an excellent base to establish a global leadership position in the over-the-top sports subscription business, the clear future of sports delivery. Perform Group’s platform and expertise, coupled with its success in launching subscription services in Germany, Japan and Canada provides a model we intend to replicate around the world.”
Keith Olbermann happened to see Skipper and detailed his encounter:
Of all people, I bumped into my friend John Skipper in Central Park late yesterday. Resplendent in a white suit, he was on the phone detailing this, and he filled me in. Says he’ll be involved administratively and editorially. Delighted to have him back. https://t.co/ZwjXAWlQF0
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) May 8, 2018
Last December, Skipper suddenly resigned as president of ESPN citing a substance addition. The move shocked employees and later, Skipper said that he was being extorted by a cocaine dealer which forced him to resign. Just a month before Skipper’s resignation, he had signed a new contract with ESPN parent company Disney that would extend his time as president through 2021. Skipper was at the helm when ESPN underwent a series of layoffs that left hundreds of employees without jobs.
Skipper is moving on with a new job that will take him to a medium that he knows well. DAZN obtained the rights to NFL Sunday Ticket in Canada last year and while the initial rollout did not go well, the company has managed to buy other sports properties like MLB and the Pac-12. Skipper was also at ESPN when it announced its plans for a standalone streaming service that eventually became ESPN+.
DAZN has established footprints in Austria, Germany, Japan and Switzerland and hopes to expand its presence into other countries. They have the rights to distribute Bundesliga games, Ligue 1 soccer, MLB, NBA, NFL and the English Premier League in its various footprints. Perform hopes that Skipper will be able to bring DAZN to more countries down the road.