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Jed Drake’s Innovation-driven Career With ESPN

December 28, 2012

Jed Drake has been with ESPN since its first year as a groundbreaking all-sports network, and has stayed at the forefront of production and sports trends for the past three decades. He notably led the introduction of Major League Baseball coverage in 1990 and spearheaded coverage of traditionally non-major events that ranged from the America’s Cup sailing regatta to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Mr. Drake has also worked to extend ESPN coverage to sporting events that are growing in popularity among American viewers such as soccer. He devised an unprecedented strategy of broadcasting all 64 games of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa live on four U.S. channels.

One expansion avenue that Jed Drake has embraced over the past decade involves the use of new technologies. He notably spearheaded the 2003 introduction of the high-definition simulcast ESPN HD service for viewers seeking top-quality broadcasts. The 2010 World Cup presented a high-profile opportunity for the network to promote its cutting edge ESPN Mobile offerings. Utilizing a no-cost MobiTV app, soccer fans were able to watch live coverage of all the matches on their iPhone, for a low subscription fee. Subscribers to other cell phone networks such as Verizon were also able to access live streaming coverage of many games.

Jed Drake and the ESPN team’s push towards multimedia offerings has gained momentum in the past two years and migrated into the fantasy football sphere. In 2012, the existing ESPN iPhone fantasy football was augmented by a dedicated ESPN iPad app that offers a host of tools for virtually drafting and managing players. iPad users can now engage in real-time trading and access a full roster of statistics, while following games as they progress. Past pioneers in cable television sports coverage, the ESPN team is now looking to set trends in the emerging mobile connectivity sphere.

Learn more about Jed’s work at frontrow.espn.go.com

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