Former president of ESPN and ABC Television Steven Bornstein has resurfaced
as a consultant to the National Football League on television and strategic
media issues, according to the league.
Bornstein -- who resigned as ABC Television president this past April after
less than one year at the helm -- will work closely with NFL brass as the league
determines whether to offer its 'NFL Sunday Ticket' out-of-market pay-per-view
package to cable operators. The industry is aggressively pursuing NFL Sunday
Ticket, as its exclusive agreement with DirecTV Inc. expires at the end of this
The package is expected to generate more than $284 million for DirecTV and
the league, according to The Carmel Group.
While he was ESPN president in the mid-1990s, Bornstein oversaw the launch of
the network's respective college-football and college-basketball out-of-market
The league is also wrestling with whether to opt out of its current
eight-year, $17.6 billion TV-rights deal with ESPN and broadcast networks ABC,
CBS and Fox. The deal, signed in 1998, has a five-year out clause that takes
effect after the 2002 season and allows the league to offer both the broadcast
and cable packages to outside bidders.
'We are at an important and opportune
time in the area of NFL television,' NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said in a
'In coming months, for example, we must consider our alternatives with
respect to our Sunday Ticket satellite package and the evolving digital-cable
universe,' he added. 'Steve Bornstein's extensive experience and knowledge of
broadcast, cable and new media will be a tremendous asset to us in this