Ralph Rivera, former director of BBC digital, has been appointed to the newly created position of managing director of Eurosport Digital, owned by Discovery.
Rivera’s post as director of digital at the BBC was made redundant earlier this year after six years in the role. During his time as the digital boss, Rivera was responsible for all digital media services, including the launch of VOD service BBC iPlayer.
Rivera has been looking at how to reinvigorate the BBC’s offer to the public on education since, the BBC said.
Now Rivera has broken ties with the BBC to join Discovery, charged with "leading the aggressive expansion of Eurosport’s digital businesses”, which includes Eurosport’s website and online streaming service Eurosport Player, which is active in 52 countries.
He will take up the role on 26 September, reporting into Michael Lang, executive VP of international development & digital for Discovery Communications.
Discovery said: "With hundreds of millions of mobile data subscribers and growing OTT momentum via connected TVs, Europe provides a significant strategic opportunity to leverage both Rivera’s successful track record of creating immersive digital video products and Discovery’s recent investments in premium sports content."
Rivera said: "Having enjoyed numerous successes with the BBC, my next move had to be big. The opportunity I have in leading the digital business at Eurosport is an amazing challenge, and working closely with Discovery’s world-class teams at Eurosport and across local markets, I hope to build next generation digital sports products, ensuring Eurosport consumers across Europe can enjoy more action, when and where they choose to view it.”
The hire comes at a time when Discovery is making a number of investments to bolster its sports coverage. In June Discovery Communications paid €1.3bn for the near-exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympic Games in Europe between 2018 and 2024, demonstrating the network’s significant push into sports content.
Earlier this year, Discovery poached BBC’s presenter Jonathan Edwards to join Eurosport as its lead presenter on an exclusive basis from 2017. Edwards will front a number of sports programming including the Olympics.