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Next TV Innovation Awards 2022: Matt Duarte

Matt Duarte
(Image credit: YES Network)

The Next TV Summit on September 13, part of the 10th annual NYC TV Week, will for the first time include the Next TV Innovation Awards, recognizing CEOs, technologists, strategists, creatives, marketers and other executives leading some of the most innovative companies in the video business. Each day from Sept. 2-13, our Next TV SmartBrief will profile one of our seven 2022 Innovation Awards honorees. (You can sign up for the SmartBrief here.) For more information about the summit and the award winners and other NYC TV Week events visit nyctvweek.com.

Matt Duarte 
VP of Strategy and Business Development YES Network 

Matt Duarte might have one of the great jobs in TV. He’s in charge of making the app for the YES Network — the regional sports network owned by the New York Yankees, Sinclair Broacast Group and Amazon — cooler and more useful to fans of the Yankees and three other pro-sports franchises. 

“We launched with core functionality delivering the highest-quality video player we could,” Duarte said. “We wanted to make sure when it launched that video quality was top-notch. What we’ve done since is layer on different ways for Yankees fans to engage with the game. We want to keep them in our ecosystem and have that choice of how they want to watch the game.” 

The continued improvements paid off quickly, viewership jumping 200% after launching in March 2021, and jumping another 35% this year. Among the popular features: a free “pick-and-play” competition awarding up to $25,000 a night for predicting game outcomes, a “Watch Together” function, and increasingly sophisticated live stats. 

Duarte also customizes the app experience for the very different needs of fans watching YES’s other teams, the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, the WNBA’s New York Liberty and MLS’s New York City FC.

Previously announced Next TV Innovation Award honorees:

Todd Achilles
Co-founder, CEO and President, Evoca

Meredith Brace
Chief Marketing Officer, Samba TV

Matt Duarte 
VP of Strategy and Business Development YES Network 

Shalini Govil-Pai
GM and VP of TV Platforms, Google

Erick Opeka 
Chief Strategy Officer, Cinedigm

David Bloom of Words & Deeds Media is a Santa Monica, Calif.-based writer, podcaster, and consultant focused on the transformative collision of technology, media and entertainment. Bloom is a senior contributor to numerous publications, and producer/host of the Bloom in Tech podcast. He has taught digital media at USC School of Cinematic Arts, and guest lectures regularly at numerous other universities. Bloom formerly worked for Variety, Deadline (opens in new tab), Red Herring, and the Los Angeles Daily News, among other publications; was VP of corporate communications at MGM; and was associate dean and chief communications officer at the USC Marshall School of Business. Bloom graduated with honors from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.