ESPN Creates Domestic Sports Group

New Orleans -- ESPN said Sunday that it has created a new affiliate-sales
focus -- domestic sports syndication sales -- as part of its affiliate sales and
marketing department.

It's designed to bring more programming of local interest to sports fans
across the country through ESPN affiliates, professional-sports-team networks
and existing regional sports networks.

Curt Pires will head up this effort as director of syndication sales. Pires
will oversee the strategy for licensing ESPN-branded content to local and
regional sports networks and over-the-air broadcast stations. He will be based
at ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Conn., and report to Manish Jha, vice
president of broadband and interactive-television sales.

Pires had served as director of programming, overseeing ESPN Regional
Television's Big East football and basketball syndication-programming efforts,
as well as its distribution. He helped to refine and develop ESPN's strategy for
syndication of ESPN-branded television programming.

'Curt has great experience in programming and, having spent over seven years
on the regional-television side of ESPN, he has a deep understanding of the
product,' Jha said in a prepared statement.

Before joining ESPN, Pires worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee as director
of publicity, and he held the positions of assistant sports-information director
and sports-information director at Columbia University and Westfield State
College, respectively.