Vice President, ESPN360.com
> Bristol, Connecticut
Damon Phillips, 36, joined ESPN a year ago to run its on-demand broadband sports channel. Previously, he founded SportsTVinsider.com, which let users create personalized sports viewing schedules.
"People want to watch sports live if they can, wherever they are. Around this company, we talk about 'best-available screen.' If a fan can't watch what he wants on his 52-inch flat panel, ESPN360 is there. It's a full-fledged TV network that just happens to be delivered through the Internet.
We're doing 3,500 live events in the next 12 months; on a Saturday, you could have as many as 40 games to choose from, and you can watch as many as 14 simultaneously. We've signed more than 25 rights deals, from MLB, NBA, and the BCS to Serie A Italian soccer and Stanford 20/20 cricket — sports with devoted fans that don't get much exposure on American TV.
We've grown distribution by 40% in the past year, to more than 24 million U.S. homes through 30 ISPs. Today, people choose their ISP based on speed and price. As time goes on, content is going to be a deciding factor."
A version of this article appeared in the February 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.