David Katz joined Fox Sports as executive vice president, head of digital in September 2018, managing the programmer’s digital business, overseeing content and distribution. Fox Sports assets include the sports TV arm of the Fox network, FS1, FS2, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes; digital properties include FoxSports.com, the Fox Sports app, Fox Sports social channels and the relationship with Fox Bet and Super 6 . Katz came to Fox after serving as founder and CEO of digital sports content and marketing agency ThePostGame. He had been head of Yahoo! Sports and Entertainment, going there after eight years at CBS Television. Running two divisions, Strategic Planning and Interactive, Katz managed the CBS network’s business strategy and had operating control over digital and mobile divisions. He started out as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. A 1994 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, he played varsity minutes for the Penn men’s basketball team that made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. He spoke with Multichannel News content director Kent Gibbons about Fox Sports’ recent successes and his top moments as a fan and a player.
What is your top viewing moment ever as a sports fan? Attending Cal Ripken’s record-breaking 2,131st consecutive game, and witnessing him hit a home run in front of his hometown fans.
What is your top moment in sports as a player? As a University of Pennsylvania basketball benchwarmer, I didn’t have many of them, but cutting down the nets after beating Princeton to win our third consecutive Ivy League Championship was pretty sweet. (Fun fact: I ended my career 1 for 1 from three-point range. Does that make me the NCAA’s career three-point percentage leader?)
What teams or sports do you watch the most? Ravens. Orioles. Terps. Penn Quakers. I’m a true “Baltimoron.”
Fox Sports had a record October for video views and minutes watched. Did any event do surprisingly well and, if so, which one and why? The best part of our October success was that every event and platform performed at its highest levels. We had our best month ever on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and set streaming records across NFL, college football, MLB Postseason, WWE and our slate of FS1 studio programming. Our success in August and September gave us the momentum we needed to have a record-setting October.
Fox has Super Bowl LIV in February. What extra precautions do you take to make sure the streaming broadcast is reliable? Every year, the high-water mark for concurrent streams is set during the Super Bowl, and this year will be no exception. You start a year in advance, run the traffic estimates, triple them for good measure and then rely on your world-class engineering team to execute the plan. This is why you come to work at Fox Sports — a chance to tackle the ultimate challenges, on the biggest stages, to serve the fan.