NFL Network Chief Exec Bornstein to Step Down

Will Depart When Contract Expires Next Spring; Rolapp to Succeed
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Steve Bornstein will step down as president and CEO of the NFL Network when his contract expires next spring, the league confirmed Wednesday.

First reported by The New York Times, he will be succeeded by NFL Media COO Brian Rolapp, who will assume the title of executive VP of NFL Media. 

"One can't underestimate Steve's well-documented impact on the sports media landscape, first with ESPN and then with the NFL.  I have learned a great deal from his leadership these past 10 years," said Rolapp. "It's no secret the media business is undergoing significant change, fueled by rapid developments in technology and customer demand.  The NFL is well positioned to take advantage of these changes and I look forward to helping the NFL innovate and serve our fans in the best possible way."

Joining the NFL in 2002, Bornstein was the architect of the league-owned channel, which became the second network to be owned and operated by a professional sports league. NBA TV started in 1999 as an online-only channel, before launching as a linear TV network in 2003, a few months before NFL Network, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in November.

Bornstein was primarily responsible for securing carriage agreements for the service, which up until last year did not include major MSOs Cablevision and Time Warner Cable. He was also instrumental in getting live games on the channel beginning in 2006 with eight before expanding to 13 last season.

The NYT report stated that Bornstein has not planned what he will do next, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell intimated that it could be on the technology side.

The Big Lead had reported back in June that Bornstein was on his way out, though the league denied it at the time.

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