Considered by many in to be the father of modern live sports television coverage, David Hill has spent a lifetime in the medium in a variety of capacities. Hill has served as executive producer on many of the world’s biggest television programs, from the Oscars to the Super Bowl to American Idol. He holds numerous patents for production innovations, and his creations include football’s on-field first down marker and the ubiquitous constant score and clock graphic (commonly known as the Fox Box).
In 2015, Hill started his own production company, Hilly, Inc., and the company’s first undertaking was to produce the 88th Oscars, which aired in February, 2016, receiving major critical acclaim. This July, he’s producing and promoting the Masters Darts Championship in Las Vegas, the first major darts event played in the United States.
Hill, Australian by birth and naturalized American by choice, began his illustrious career as 17-year-old copy boy at the Daily Telegraph in Sydney. Later, he became a television journalist, followed by a period as a documentary producer/director. Eventually, Hill shifted to live television production with Australia’s 7 Network, followed by a move to sports at the Nine Network.
In 1988, Rupert Murdoch lured him to England to help launch Sky Television, Britain’s first satellite distributed television service. He then became Executive Producer of Eurosport, then created Sky Sports. Mr. Murdoch then sent Hill to America to serve as FOX Sports’ first president in late 1993, launching the NFL on FOX just eight months later.
Hill became FOX network chairman in 1996, and within three years the network jumped to No. 2 overall and No. 1 in the key adult 18-49 demographic. His next challenge came when News Corporation purchased DirecTV, and Hill was appointed president, entertainment in 2005.
During his time running FOX network and DirecTV, Hill continued running FOX Sports, which eventually grew into the FOX Sports Media Group. He directly or indirectly oversaw the launch of several sports outlets, including FOX Sports Net, FOXSports.com, Big Ten Network and FOX Sports 1. Hill oversaw thousands of events aired by FOX Sports and its affiliated channels during his 20-year association, including six Super Bowls, 14 World Series, five Stanley Cup Finals and eight Daytona 500s. He also created and/or served as executive producer of countless studio shows, including FOX NFL SUNDAY, the most-watched NFL pregame show since its debut in 1994.
In 2011, Hill shifted the lion’s share of his focus to entertainment television when he was appointed executive producer of the long-running hit series American Idol, which he oversaw for three seasons, as well as running the National Geographic Channel.