ESPN, ABC Cable Nets combine affiliate efforts
The affiliate sales and marketing teams of ESPN and ABC Cable Networks Group will become one on Oct. 1.
The combined group, to be renamed Disney ABC Cable Networks Group, will be headed up by ESPN's Sean Bratches, who has been elevated to president of Disney and ESPN Networks Affiliate Sales and Marketing. Bratches, who joined ESPN in 1988, has been the network's executive vice president of affiliate sales and marketing since 2001.
In other personnel moves, Ben Pyne has been promoted to executive vice president, Disney and ESPN affiliate sales and marketing, and will report to Bratches.
The new organization will put the sales and marketing teams for the following networks under one roof: ABC Family, Disney Channel, SOAPnet, Toon Disney, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes and ESPN HD. The entity will also head up distribution for the networks' HDTV, broadband, video-on-demand, subscription-VOD, interactive television, pay-per-view, Spanish-langue and sports syndication products.