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Volume 23 No. 8
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Portia Archer, NBC Sports Group

Photo: NBC Sports Group
Photo: NBC Sports Group
Photo: NBC Sports Group

Portia Archer 

Vice President, Direct-to-Consumer Services, NBC Sports Group
Born: Chicago
Education: A.B., public policy and economics, University of Chicago; MBA, Columbia University

Portia Archer sees her role at NBC Sports Group as being an advocate for the video streaming market, particularly at a traditional media company like NBC.

“Direct-to-consumer is a new way of business and a new line of business within the company,” she said. “It’s important that I’m able to evangelize across the company and socialize and educate about the benefits of taking risks and the benefits of moving into this new space that’s still relatively unknown.”

Archer joined NBC in 2016 and was part of the team that launched the streaming service NBC Sports Gold. She spends her days as a jack-of-all-trades, doing
everything from identifying properties for the platform to programming and scheduling the service.

“Everything that we do is a risk and something that we haven’t done before,” Archer said.

She referenced the decision to put Premier League games on NBC Sports Gold as a risk. “It took about a year to get people comfortable with taking that risk, but Premier League Pass has been one of the most successful things that we put up on NBC Sports Gold to date.”

Archer has gained a sterling reputation inside NBC’s offices.

“Portia is an invaluable asset to the NBC Sports Digital team,” said Rick Cordella, executive vice president and general manager of NBC Sports Digital. “Her vision, passion and work ethic are crucial in leading a creative, forward-thinking team that is tackling the emerging direct-to-consumer business.”

— John Ourand

Getting to know...

Misperception of working in sports: People think that it is always fun and games, but it is a business. It is not the same as attending, competing in or watching a sporting event.
Proudest professional achievement: I am incredibly proud of what the NBC Sports Gold team has accomplished in a very short period of time. Together, we started an entirely new business, launched nine sports verticals in less than two years and exceeded subscriber and revenue expectations.
Woman in sports business I’d like to meet: Serena Williams. She is a boss.
I wish I’d known at my career’s start: Fail fast. Look for opportunities that push yourself outside of your comfort zone. If what you’re after is meant for you, you’ll get it. If it is not meant for you, you won’t, and that’s OK. You can and will recover from setbacks because you’re more resilient than you know. Find that grit and keep at it.