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Volume 21 No. 2
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Forty Under 40

Photo: EMC
Jay Adya has advised on some of the most groundbreaking TV agreements in the last few years, from the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Time Warner Cable contract to deals for the Pac-12 Conference’s new network.

But it is the smallest deal he has handled that Adya finds most compelling. That would be the WTA Tour’s non-U.S. TV contract with Perform Group, a United Kingdom-based digital media platform with rights to more than 200 sports leagues, tournaments and events.

Perform is neither a cable distributor nor a channel, but a digital, Internet-based system that sells sports content it has acquired. Perform then either sells direct to consumer by streaming, or to another digital entity. If it finds that a traditional TV approach is better, then it sells the rights to that client.

In essence, it is the U.S. model in reverse: First come the digital rights, and then the TV rights.

“There are more and more places where people are going to view their content,” Adya said. “Traditional buyers of sports content are guys we have heard of. But if you look at Google, Apple — these are big companies with infinite dollars on their balance sheets that have only dipped their toes into sports.”

Adya got his start as a management consultant out of college before he started his own Internet company:, which focused on athlete recruiting. He sold Takkle in 2008 to Alloy Media, which had as a board member a senior executive of Creative Artists Agency. CAA at that time was just working to start Evolution Media Capital, and it’s through that connection that Adya found his way to the business. Since then, the firm has shown quick growth, becoming a key sports and media advisory firm.

— Daniel Kaplan

Age: 35
Title: Executive
ORGANIZATION: Evolution Media Capital
Education: B.A., Columbia University; MBA, Columbia Business School
Family: Wife, Sireesha; sons Kaiden (4) and Ayan (3)
Career: Management consulting, Internet/digital media; co-founder of, a social network for high school athletes.

First Job: Little League baseball umpire
Best business advice received: Keep an even keel. Things are never as bad or as good as they seem.

Worst advice received: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
IPOD PLAYLIST: Arcade Fire, Local Natives, Mumford & Sons, Miles Okazaki, and various children’s songs
Favorite iPad apps: Flipboard, Pocket, Yelp
Stress release: Playing tennis; being outdoors with my family
Pet peeve: Arrogance; self-centeredness
Guilty pleasure: Good red wine
Favorite movie line: “This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” (“Bull Durham”)