Eric Shanks is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer of FOX Sports. Shanks oversees all entities within FOX Sports, including the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FS1, FS2; FOX Soccer Plus; FOX Deportes; FOX College Sports and FOX Sports Digital.
An accomplished inventor, producer and executive, Shanks has worked his way up from a Broadcast Associate in the year FOX Sports launched to becoming its CEO and Executive Producer. Named to the position in June 2010 at age 38, he is believed to be the youngest executive to lead a broadcast network sports division ever.
Shanks’ appointment is the very definition of the American corporate success story. A winner of more than 20 Sports Emmy Awards, holder of 11 U.S. patents, and a member of the Sports Business Journal’s prestigious “40 Under 40” Hall of Fame, he oversees programming, production, field and studio operations, marketing, promotion, communications, business and legal affairs for America’s top-rated sports network. He also directs all aspects of FOX Sports’ television investments and partnerships, and was instrumental in the formation of FoxBet, a groundbreaking partnership with and investment in the Stars Group. In addition, Shanks spearheads the division’s strategy of pursuing major event programming to ensure FOX Sports’ position as a premier network sports broadcaster.
Shanks served as Executive Vice President for entertainment for DIRECTV from 2004-2010, where he invented the NFL RedZone channel. He was responsible for DIRECTV’s original entertainment, regional sports networks, advanced products and advertising sales. In that role, Shanks developed innovative content and services that were compelling and distinct. His advances include the launch of DIRECTV on DEMAND, the creation of the NFL RedZone, as well as the partnership between DIRECTV and Augusta National for the multiscreen coverage of The Masters.
In 2001, Shanks created Sky Italia’s sports networks for NewsCorp. He created Sky Sports 1 and 2 and oversaw the acquisition of Serie A rights and was the executive producer there during its inaugural launch season.
Shanks originally joined FOX Sports in 1994, the network’s inaugural NFL season. He also served on production crews for FOX Sports’ coverage of the NHL and MLB. Shanks helped develop the yellow first-down line that is a staple of today’s televised football coverage and the FOXTrax “glowing puck.” He began his sports television career as a broadcast associate at CBS Sports in 1993.
Shanks serves on the Board of Directors for the Big Ten Network; and holds a seat on the Board of Governors and chairs the Pacific Region for the Boys and Girls Club of America.
An Indiana native, Shanks attended Indiana University and now resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Brenda, daughter Maisie and sons, Jack and David.