Jon Litner, president of SportsNet New York (SNY), has been named president of Comcast SportsNet and will oversee the day-to-day management of the eight regional sports networks operated by Comcast, including SportsNet New York, which collectively serve more than 27 million viewers in leading sports markets across the country. He will be Comcast's representative on SNY's board.
He succeeds Comcast SportsNet President and CEO Jack Williams, who launched Comcast's first regional sports network in Philadelphia in 1997. Litner's appointment was announced today by Jeff Shell, president of Comcast Programming. Litner will report to Shell and begin his new role once a successor at SportsNet New York has been named. Williams will assume the title of chairman and in that role he will serve as a part-time advisor to Shell and Litner.
Shell said, "Jon has quickly built SportsNet New York into one of the most successful regional sports networks in the country. His proven experience in television, sports and operations make him the ideal new leader for Comcast SportsNet's rapidly expanding family of regional sports networks."
Shell continued, "Under Jack, Comcast SportsNet has grown to eight networks in less than a decade, and helped pioneer the use of HDTV and video on demand to connect sports fans and their favorite teams. I look forward to continuing to benefit from his experience and insight in his new position."
Litner said, "I'm very proud of the great success we've had in launching SportsNet New York as part of the Comcast SportsNet family. Comcast's regional networks deliver the most comprehensive, relevant sports coverage in their markets, and I look forward to expanding on the incredibly strong foundation that they have established."
Williams added, "It has been a pleasure working with Jon to successfully develop and launch SportsNet New York. He is well suited to lead all of our regional networks as Comcast SportsNet continues to grow and enter new markets."
Litner was named president of SportsNet New York in February of 2005 and launched the network in March of 2006. SNY is owned by Sterling Entertainment Enterprises, Time Warner, and Comcast. The network features live game coverage of the New York Mets and is the year-round home of the New York Jets and other sports programming. Litner previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1999 to 2005. Prior to joining the NHL, Litner was senior vice president, programming for ABC Sports, where he was responsible for acquiring and scheduling sports content, and was vice president of business affairs at the Baseball Network, a venture between ABC Sports, NBC Sports and Major League Baseball. He is a 1985 graduate of Yale University, where he lettered in football and baseball, and earned a law degree from Cornell Law School in 1988. He is a three-time recipient of the Sports Business Journal's "40 under 40" Sports Executive Award, and was named to Sports Business Journal's Hall of Fame in 2001. He is a member of the Little League International Board of Directors. Litner, 43, will relocate to Philadelphia with his wife Polly and their three children.
Williams, 68, has been on the forefront of sports business since his first broadcasting job in Oklahoma in 1961. In addition to launching Comcast SportsNet, he worked on the development of PRISM, the country's first 24/7 regional sports network, which was based in Philadelphia and the predecessor to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Williams also headed numerous other sports and entertainment programming ventures, including Cablevision's family of regional sports networks, the Star Channel, Fan Fare, The Z Channel, and many others. Williams served as president of Spectacor and chairman of SMG, and ran WIP-AM in Philadelphia. He graduated from Oklahoma Panhandle University, and he and his wife Lois reside in Philadelphia, and have three children.
About Comcast SportsNet
Comcast SportsNet operates eight sports networks that televise more than 1,600 live sporting events annually and deliver local and national sports news, analysis and commentary to more than 27 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast SportsNet's networks are: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet West, SportsNet New York, The Mtn. - MountainWest Sports Network, CSS, and Comcast Local Detroit. These networks provide live game coverage of the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, and Chicago Blackhawks; the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, and Sacramento Kings; and MLB's Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and New York Mets; as well as a comprehensive mix of college and minor league sports events. For more information see ComcastSportsNet.com.
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of cable, entertainment and communications products and services. With 24.2 million cable customers, 11.5 million high-speed Internet customers, and 2.5 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, AZN Television, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, Comcast SportsNet, and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.