Steve Bornstein (born April 20, 1952) is the chairman of the Media
Networks division of gaming company Activision Blizzard. He previously
held high-ranking roles at NFL Network, ESPN, and ABC. While at
ESPN, he organized putting
SportsCenter reruns on during the morning
1 Early life and education
2.2 American Broadcasting Company
2.3 NFL Network
2.4 Charitable activities
Activision Blizzard and FlockU.com
3 Personal life
Early life and education
Bornstein was born and raised in a Jewish family in Fair Lawn, New
Jersey to Julian Leon and Marge Frankel Bornstein, as the youngest of
four, the others being Fred, Andy, and Faye. He attended the
University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison and graduated in 1974 with a
Bachelor of Science
Bachelor of Science in communications.
Bornstein began his career as a producer, and later executive
WOSU-TV in Columbus, Ohio. He also worked with
Warner-Amex Cable, producing
Ohio State Buckeyes football programming
for the company's interactive
In January 1980, he joined
ESPN as manager of program coordination
when the cable sports network was a four-month-old start-up. During
his time as manager of programming coordination, he developed and
implemented ESPN's successful programming philosophy of presenting a
mix of events, sports news and special interest programming. In 1988,
Bornstein was promoted to Executive Vice President of Programming and
Production. He advanced through the network’s programming and
production ranks, becoming ESPN’s youngest president and CEO in 1990
at age 38.
In January 1992,
ESPN Radio was launched and began a rollout of
24-hour programming in October 1998. Also in 1992, Bornstein
established the subsidiary
ESPN Enterprises to develop new businesses
like ESPN.com, which has grown to become the leading sports news and
information site on the internet.
Bornstein helped to oversee the debut of
ESPN2 in October 1993 and
ESPNews in November 1996. In October 1997, Bornstein directed the
Classic Sports Network
Classic Sports Network and rebranded the channel as
ESPN Classic, adding yet another network to the
Additionally, Bornstein oversaw the development of
which has grown to include ownership - in whole or in part - of 24
television networks internationally, as well as a variety of
additional businesses that allow
ESPN to reach sports fans in over 61
countries and territories across all seven continents.
In March 1998,
ESPN the Magazine was launched as a joint venture of
Disney Publishing and
ESPN with distribution being handled by Hearst
Throughout his time at ESPN, the network created many of the popular
programming staples that still thrive today, including the iconic
SportsCenter franchise, NFL Countdown, NFL PrimeTime, Baseball Tonight
Outside the Lines
Outside the Lines series. In addition to his contributions to
ESPN programming, Bornstein developed the X Games and Winter X Games,
week-long extreme sports competitions. Bornstein is also credited
with the creation of the ESPYs Awards, short for Excellence in Sports
Performance Yearly Award. First awarded in 1993, the ESPYs gather
top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past
year in sports by recognizing major sports achievements, reliving
unforgettable moments and saluting the leading performers and
During his tenure at ESPN, Bornstein's team won 59 Emmys and 57 Cable
Ace Awards.
American Broadcasting Company
In April 1996, Bornstein was named President of ABC Sports. In a
short time, Bornstein established
ABC Sports as the preeminent network
of college football, creating the College Football Championship
Series, and extending contracts with all major CFB conferences.
In 1999, Bornstein was named President of ABC, where he was
responsible for all the media network and cable assets at
In January 2003, Bornstein was appointed President and CEO of NFL
Network and Executive Vice President of Media by then NFL Commissioner
Paul Tagliabue. While at the NFL, Bornstein oversaw the league's
media division, which included the relationships with national
broadcast and sponsorship partners as well as NFL-owned media assets
In November 2003, Bornstein launched NFL Network, which was the most
widely distributed sports network in the history of the industry when
it launched and became the youngest network ever to win a Sports Emmy
after just 58 days on the air.
In 2009, Bornstein spearheaded the creation of NFL RedZone, the widely
acclaimed channel produced by
NFL Network that whips around live to
every NFL game on Sunday afternoons delivering the touchdowns and most
exciting moments to viewers.
Under Bornstein’s leadership,
NFL Network and NFL RedZone completed
distribution deals with Cablevision and Time Warner Cable in 2012.
Currently in more than 72 million homes,
NFL Network now has carriage
agreements with each of the country’s largest television providers
including Comcast, DirecTV, DISH Network, Cablevision, Cox, Charter,
Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse.
Ultimately, Bornstein would bring the league’s internet and mobile
assets in-house and help build NFL Media into a collection of
league-owned media assets including NFL Network, NFL.com, NFL Mobile,
NFL RedZone, NFL Now, and NFL Films along with the NFL’s highly
visible social media platforms.
While building out and growing the NFL’s own media assets, Bornstein
reconfigured and repackaged the NFL’s television assets and helped
the league bring NBC back into the fold, move Monday Night Football to
ESPN, introduced flexible scheduling, and created a new package of
Thursday primetime games for NFL Network, all while creating more
value for the NFL and its television partners. Bornstein was
instrumental in the December 2011 landmark nine-year extensions with
CBS, FOX and NBC which continue the NFL’s tradition on broadcast
television through the 2022 season. Those new deals came just three
months after he helped secure an eight-year agreement to keep Monday
Night Football on
ESPN until 2021.
Bornstein also helped lead renewal negotiations in 2014 with DirecTV
for exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket and its package of
every Sunday afternoon out-of-market game through a new multi-year
agreement. The 2014 renewal also expanded DirecTV’s rights to stream
NFL Sunday Ticket live on mobile devices and via broadband, known as
NFL Sunday Ticket TV.
In 2014, Bornstein was succeeded by
Brian Rolapp as CEO of NFL
Bornstein takes part in numerous charitable activities with a wide
range of organizations. He is the founder and current Board Chair of
The V Foundation, one of the nation’s leading cancer research
funding organizations, which has raised more than $125 million for
cancer research in the name of late college basketball coach Jim
Valvano. In addition, he has served on the President's Council on
Physical Fitness and Sports and the California Governor’s Council on
Physical Fitness, the National Cable Television Association, Hampton
University, Steamboat Ventures, and Infoseek.
Activision Blizzard and FlockU.com
On October 21 video game publisher
Activision Blizzard announced the
establishment of a new esports competitive video game division headed
Steve Bornstein and Senior Vice President Mike Sespo of
Major League Gaming.
He is currently on the Board of Directors for FlockU.com.
Bornstein lives in
Los Angeles with his wife Carol and four
NFL Network executive
Steve Bornstein to retire". Awful
^ "Mr. Touchdown For NFL TV Deals". Business Week. October 17, 2005.
Retrieved February 8, 2010.
Los Angeles Times: "NFL's
Steve Bornstein defends Thursday games,
talks new package" by Joe Flint October 28, 2013
^ Hiestano, Michael. "Pioneer steers ABC,
ESPN to top of game", USA
Today, December 10, 1997. Accessed March 29, 2011. "He grew up on TV
in Fair Lawn, N.J., where he fantasized about becoming an Olympic
^ a b "Steven M. Bornstein - The V Foundation for Cancer Research".
^ "Wisconsin Legislative Council" (PDF). wisconsin.gov.
^ "Bornstein succeeds Werner as
ESPN president, CEO. (Steven M.
Bornstein; Roger Werner)" – via highbeam.com.
ESPN Sees Drop In Unique Visitors, But Still Easily Tops April
ComScore Rankings". Sports Business Daily.
ESPN Agrees to Buy Cable TV's Classic Sports Network". Los Angeles
Times. September 4, 1997.
^ a b c "ESPN, Inc. Fact Sheet".
^ "A Brief History of the X Games". Time. January 22, 2009.
^ "Former ESPN, ABC,
NFL Network President
Steve Bornstein Joins PBA
Board of Directors". Professional Bowlers Association.
^ "PR - STEVEN M. BORNSTEIN NAMED PRESIDENT, ABC TELEVISION,". ESPN
^ Mike Ozanian (June 1, 2013). "How
Steve Bornstein Built The NFL
Network Into A $5 Billion Business". Forbes.
^ "NFL Network". NFL Network.
NFL Network will launch new 'NFL RedZone' channel this season". NFL
^ "NFL Network, Time Warner Cable reach multiyear agreement".
^ James Andrew Miller; Richard Sandomir (October 28, 2013). "NFL
Network's 10-Year Gains: 13 Games and 72 Million Homes". The New York
Times. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
^ "Steve Bornstein". Broadcasting & Cable.
^ Morris, Chris (October 22, 2015). "Why Activision-Blizzard just
launched a new eSports division". Fortune. Retrieved November 13,
^ "Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame: Steve Bornstein, A Fiery Leader
and Dynamic Innovator : Sports Video Group".
Presidents of American Broadcasting Company
Edward John Noble
Edward John Noble (1943–1951)
Robert E. Kintner (1949—1956)
Leonard Goldenson (1951–1986)
Elton Rule (1972–1983)
John Severino (1981–1985)
Mark Mandala (1985–1994)
Daniel Burke (1986–1994)
Bob Iger (1994–1995)
Steve Bornstein (1999–2002)
Alex Wallau (2000)
Anne Sweeney (April 2004–January 2015)
Ben Sherwood (January 2015–present)
Presidents of ABC Sports
Edgar Scherick (1956–1964)
Roone Arledge (1964–February 1986)
Not formal until 1968
Dennis Swanson (February 1986–April 1996)
Steve Bornstein (April 1996–March 1999)
Howard Katz (March 1999–March 2003)
George Bodenheimer (March 2003–October 2011)
John Skipper (October 201