NFL hires Jordan Levin as chief content officer
By Joe Lucia
The NFL has made an interesting hire heading into the 2015 season, tabbing former WB Network CEO Jordan Levin as their chief content officer.
Wait, what the heck is a chief content officer? Here’s how the Hollywood Reporter describes Levin’s role.
Levin, who starts his new job Monday, will oversee the development of content for NFL Network, the NFL Now online platform and other league-owned properties. He also will supervise the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Huh. That’s … interesting. Levin doesn’t exactly have much of a sports background, following up his work at WB Network with stints at Generate (a digital media company bought out in 2012) and Xbox Entertainment (which was shuttered just five months after Levin came aboard).
The Wall Street Journal has more details about Levin’s role, which will mainly deal with nongame content.
“We have a deep bench of sports producers,” said Brian Rolapp, the NFL’s executive vice president of media to whom Mr. Levin will report. “We’re trying to supplement that with people who can think broader about content.”
As for what kind of nongame content Mr. Levin has purview to develop, Mr. Rolapp said, “It’s all on the table,” including NFL-related game shows and perhaps even scripted programming.
NFL game shows. NFL reality shows. NFL dramas and comedies? It’ll be interesting to see how football fans react to the NFL Network branching out into less game-centric content. MLB Network, probably the closest comparable network to NFL Network, is almost solely focused on studio, game, or highlight content during the season, with the occasional movie thrown in. During the offseason, more evergreen content (Prime 9, MLB Network Presents, etc) begins to pop up, none of which is really appointment viewing.
Could the Levin-inspired programming end up giving NFL Network some appointment viewing past live games? Perhaps. We’ve been clamoring for more trivia-based game shows on sports networks for years, and an NFL-themed version would be something we’d absolutely get behind. But past that, I’m a bit skeptical about adding more non-game content to the airwaves, given how protective their NFL is over their brand.
Then again, this is the NFL – everything they touch turns to gold.
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