At the very beginning of 2018, Fox Sports replaced Jamie Horowitz with then-Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman. At the very end of 2018, they finally found his successor.
Francois McGillicuddy was introduced as the new President of the Big Ten Network on Monday by Fox Sports CEO Eric Shanks and Big Ten commish Jim Delany. McGillicuddy will officially assume the new role in early 2019, taking over the day-to-day operations for BTN from Silverman. Because Fox owns 51 percent of the network and operates it, Silverman had been pulling double duty for most of 2018.
McGillicuddy is something of a Fox Sports lifer, having worked for various divisions and networks within the company. After working for Madison Square Garden and Rainbow Sports Networks, McGillicuddy joined Fox in 2006, rising to Vice President, Finance & Business Operations at SPEED. When that network become FS1, he moved to FOX Sports Ohio where he became SVP & General Manager of Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio, overseeing all aspects of both channels. He leaves that position to take over at BTN.
“Francois has been a key contributor and valued colleague at FOX Sports since 2006, so it is with great pleasure to now welcome him to the BTN family,” said Shanks in a release. “We have a terrific team in place at the network and I am confident that Francois will be an outstanding addition given his strong leadership skills, wealth of experience in our industry and proven ability to work with FOX Sports’ partners.”
McGillicuddy is filling some big shoes considering he’s only the second president of BTN in its 12-year-history. He takes over as the network has some rather solid footing in the game, especially when compared to what’s going on over in the Pac-12. Fox and BTN recently settled their issues with Comcast and Big Ten school TV revenue distributions are reaching absurd heights. Depending on who you ask, the network is available in around 60 million homes in the U.S. McGillicuddy doesn’t have a big problem to fix, but perhaps his big problem will be ensuring that all of this recent success continues.
A big win he could notch right away is helping to keep Urban Meyer in the family once his “retirement” becomes official, though he’d likely spend more time on the Fox side. Otherwise, it’s going to be about maintaining the status quo and keeping this revenue checks rolling. If he can do that, no one is going to be complaining around the Big Ten anytime soon.