UEFA Vet Bernard Ross Named Eurosport’s COO/GM for Olympic Games
Discovery Communications has appointed Bernard Ross to the newly created position of Eurosport’s Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Olympic Games. He will begin the new role in January, based in Paris, and will report directly to Peter Hutton, CEO, Eurosport. Ross is charged with the successful delivery of the Olympic Games across Europe and will lead on all production, logistics and organizational aspects of the planning for the Games.
With a particular focus on Germany, Norway and Sweden, his goal will be to ensure that viewers enjoy the ultimate experience on Discovery and Eurosport’s extensive network of channels and consumer products, to bring an immersive and localized approach to fans across all screens.
Ross, one of the most forward-thinking sports executives in the industry, is perfectly placed to take on this role, given his extensive experience in live sports, broadcast and digital innovation. Ross joins from The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), where he delivered UEFA EURO 2016 as Head of Production, having managed the live host broadcast of the EURO since 2008. Ross was also responsible for the delivery of several broadcast and digital innovations, across all UEFA competitions – from the UEFA Champions League to the newly centralized European Qualifiers – including pioneering 4K and virtual reality 360° filming and UEFA’s multi-platform ‘Next Generation Services’. Prior to UEFA, Ross was a Senior Producer and live Director at IMG Media where he spent 12 years working across their sports programs and projects, including magazine shows for ATP and the Premier League.
JB Perrette, President and CEO, Discovery Networks International, highlighted the appointment as a significant step towards delivering on the strategic goal to deliver the Olympic Games in a new way to more viewers across more screens than ever before, redefining the viewer experience for a new generation. “On day one, Bernie will take our team to a new level of excellence. His world class experience in sports production and relentless pursuit of innovation will help us deliver the ultimate Olympic Games experience”.
Peter Hutton said, “Eurosport will bring to life the stories that matter most for viewers, whether it is in markets such as Germany, where Eurosport is the exclusive home of the Olympic Games, or in other European countries where we will work alongside national broadcasters. For our production team the scale of the challenge and the size of the opportunity is huge as we continue to transform our brand. In Bernie, we have someone who will drive this operation with knowledge and experience on both linear and digital platforms across Europe”.
Ross said, “Following a successful 11 years at UEFA, I am delighted to take this opportunity to ensure that the Olympic Games captivates as wide an audience as possible across Europe, bringing a differentiated approach and to delivering engaging coverage across all screens. With Discovery’s commitment in the Olympic Games, along with other premium sports rights, this is clearly a transformative period for the business, thrilling fans across Europe and bringing the ultimate sporting spectacle to life through a redefined viewer experience”.