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Volume 21 No. 2
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NFL hires X Games pioneer Semiao

The NFL has hired former ESPN executive Ron Semiao to oversee NFL Network programming and the league’s media events, including the Super Bowl halftime show.

Taking on the new position of vice president of programming and media events, Semiao will report to Mark Quenzel, the league’s senior vice president of programming and production, and will be based in Los Angeles.

Ron Semiao, shown in 2008, moves to NFL Network.
Best known for his role in creating the X Games, Semiao will be tasked with developing concepts to help program the network and evolve into events.

“You’ve seen that with the creation of ‘NFL Honors,’” he said. “We need to create content that has dimensions beyond just a television program.”

Semiao believes opportunity exist around the Hall of Fame and the NFL Combine.

“Live big sporting events and live award shows still have that appointment television aspect to them,” he said. “We’re trying to look at NFL Media not just simply as a cable TV network, but as a multiplatform content provider.”

Over close to 30 years at ESPN, Semiao worked with current NFL executives Steve Bornstein as well as Quenzel. He retired from ESPN in the spring and relocated to Los Angeles.

Though it’s a new position, an opening was created earlier this year when Lawrence Randall, who had been the NFL Network’s director of programming, left the company.