David Preschlack, the longtime distribution executive at ESPN and Disney networks, is leaving the company as executive vice president, affiliate sales and marketing, Disney & ESPN Media Networks. He is leaving voluntarily, ESPN officials said, and will be staying on in advisory role until the end of the year.
His decision comes relatively soon after his longtime boss, Sean Bratches, the ESPN executive VP of sales and marketing, said he was leaving by year's end.
In an internal announcement, ESPN president John Skipper said: "I wanted to share with all of you the information just relayed this morning to his team that David Preschlack has decided to leave ESPN. David has been here for some 20 years marked by a tremendous amount of hard work on his part, continuous success and an innovative spirit that has served us very well. Over the past several years and under David’s leadership, the Disney and ESPN Media Networks affiliate sales and marketing group has accomplished a great deal, including an unbroken string of industry-leading distribution agreements, the introduction of new and innovative products, the record-setting launch of SEC Network and the extension of our brands to broadband and other new technologies. David has been a key driver at every stage and has done all of that as the consummate professional, a trusted colleague, a valued friend and with a relentlessly positive spirit that touched us all. We are immeasurably better for having had him on our team. I am also happy to report that he will serve the company in an advisory capacity through the end of the year. As David prepares for his next chapter, please join me in thanking him for all he's done for ESPN and in wishing him continued success."
Over the years, Preschlack and his team helped break ground in several multichannel distribution arenas, including for broadband networks such as what was ESPN360 at the time, for ESPN HD and more recently with the Watch apps and inclusion in the IPTV service Sling TV.
“For as far back as I can remember, we’ve always looked at what’s next,” Preschlack told Multichannel News in 2011. “It is really in our DNA.”
Starting at ESPN in 1995 as a videotape librarian, Preschlack led negotiations on long-term agreements for Disney and ESPN networks, including every major U.S. multichannel video programming distributor since 2010, his bio notes. His portfolio includes ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Fusion, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN Bases Loaded, Longhorn Network, SEC ESPN Network, and related HDTV, video-on-demand, subscription video-on-demand, interactive television and pay-per-view products, his bio also notes.
Preschlack also manages retransmission-consent agreements for Disney’s eight-owned ABC stations and content distribution on a wide range of devices, including Disney's online Watch services. He received the 2013 NCTA Vanguard Award for Young Leadership among indusry honors.