David Nathanson is back in the saddle at Fox Cable Networks, rejoining the company to lead its dedicated soccer service.
Nathanson has been named executive vice president and general manager of Fox Soccer Channel, stepping into a role long held by David Sternberg.
Serving in an array of executive capacities for News Corp. and Fox Cable Networks from 1999 through 2005 Nathanson, most recently had been working as president of horseracing service TVG Network. He will assume his new job at FSC on Jan. 5, reporting directly to Fox National Cable Networks president Rich Battista.
In his new post, Nathanson will assume overall responsibility for the 35-million household FSC, which showcases live international and domestic futbol matches, highlight programs, talk shows and nightly newscasts.
FSC is the primary U.S. rights-holder to England's Barclays Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Its other properties include the English FA Cup, domestic circuits Major League Soccer and Women's Professional Soccer, the top Italian league Serie A, England men's national team, and CONCACAF Champions League.
As president of TVG Network from 2005 through 2009, Nathanson was the chief architect of the network's programming, sales, content acquisition, marketing, distribution and wagering operations strategies.
Previously, Nathanson worked at News Corp., beginning in 1999 as director of marketing for new media. In 2001 he was promoted to director, broadband strategy and channel development for Fox Cable Networks and became vice president, advanced services and channel development in 2002. In 2004, he moved to then-new Fox Reality Channel as vice president, business and operations,
"We've been looking for the right opportunity for David to return to Fox," said Battista in a statment. "Given his impressive background in growing emerging networks and our long professional history, I felt he was the ideal candidate as we look to take Fox Soccer Channel to the next level and expand upon its reputation as the top soccer brand on television."
Noted Nathanson: "It's not often you get the opportunity to work with colleagues you know and admire on a business poised for significant growth. Soccer is indisputably the world's most popular sport and I look forward to capturing that global excitement as we evolve Fox Soccer Channel in the United States."
Among Nathanson's first major duties at FSC will be to complete sub-licensing agreements to the Barclays Premier League. FSC earlier this fall reached a three-year BPL extension for the 2010-11 through the 2012-13 seasons
The network, which this spring wrested control of the UEFA Champions League from ESPN after a 15-year run, has seen its viewership grow with the Barclays Premier League, Serie A and MLS, after becoming Nielsen-rated for the first time in October 2008.
A 12-year veteran with Fox, Sternberg on Dec. 18 will leave his post as executive vice president and COO of Fox's Emerging Networks, which include FSC, Fox Sports en Espanol and Fuel TV, to pursue entrepreneurial interests.