Sean McGrail has served as President and CEO of NESN (New England Sports Network) since May of 2000. Under McGrail’s leadership, NESN has been transformed into one of the most popular media properties in New England, growing from a premium service with 400,000 subscribers to a standard service with over 4 million homes. The network is also distributed outside New England as NESN National to approximately 5 million homes in nearly 100 DMAs as well as DirecTV and Dish Network and several over-the-top (OTT) distributors. NESN also boasts a digital group that oversees NESN.com, one of the most visited sports websites in the country. In 2017 NESN launched in-market streaming at www.NESNgo.com or on the NESNgo app.
NESN’s award-winning Red Sox and Bruins coverage (the network won 8 NE Emmy’s in 2017) consistently garners higher average prime time ratings than any Boston area broadcast network and consistently ranks among the most watched and highest rated regional sports networks in the country. Forbes Magazine has ranked NESN as one of the top ten Most Valuable Sports Business Brands in the world for six consecutive years.
McGrail engineered NESN’s 2006 relocation to the NESN Television Center in Watertown, MA, considered one of the leading regional sports network facilities in the country. The move also made NESN the first regional sports network in the country to originate every game and studio show in high definition. NESN has recently updated their studios and became the first RSN to bring automation into its studio productions.
In addition to his work at NESN, McGrail also serves on the Boards of Roush Fenway Racing and The Red Sox Foundation.
Roush Fenway Racing is one of the largest and most successful teams in NASCAR, fielding multiple teams in the Monster Energy Cup Series and XFINITY Series. For over fifty years, Roush Fenway Racing has been committed to performance, having won 31 championships and more than 400 races in drag racing, sports car and stock car racing.
The Red Sox Foundation is the official team charity of the Boston Red Sox. The Foundation’s primary focus is in serving the health, education, recreation, and social service needs of children and families in need across New England by harnessing the passion fans have for the Red Sox and transforming it into a vehicle for positive change in the New England community.
A Worcester, Massachusetts native, McGrail graduated from Northeastern University and earned an MBA from Boston University. He began his career at Continental Cablevision before joining NESN’s marketing department in 1985.
McGrail resides in Hopkinton, Massachusetts with his wife Judy and two sons.
The Future Looks Bright: Examining RSNs and the Road Ahead