NBC Universal named George Kliavkoff its first chief digital officer. Kliavkoff, who joins the company from Major League Baseball Advance Media, will report to NBC U Digital Media/Market Development President Beth Comstock.
His duties include advancing the company's digital media strategy, overseeing operations of new broadband and wireless endeavors, digital innovation and product development, portal and partner relationships and the NBCU Digital Studios.
Kliavkoff was executive VP, business for MLBAM, responsible for the company's new media licensing business and business development related to baseball's interactive media unit. Before that, he ran the business development group for RealNetworks' consumer division and spent six years as an attorney. Kliavkoff, who has been talking with NBCU about the job for the past several weeks, still has a week left at MLB and will start his new post in September after relocating from Seattle to New York with his family.
MLB consolidated baseball's interactive media rights five years ago. In his three years at baseball, Kliavkoff built out a paid content business for MLBAM, including retail sales and wholesale licensing. MLBAM's aligning of its 30 baseball clubs is looked at in the industry as the gold standard of managing interactive sports rights.
From the undertaking, Kliavkoff told B&C, he learned how necessary it is to find the right balance between licensing out some content for promotional and money-making purposes, while still holding on enough to build a relationship with your customers.
Now at NBC, he says he is looking forward to building out a digital business with the commitment he has seen from senior management at the company.
"The opportunities will be led by the larger corporate goals of NBC U to build a profit in the digital media business with significant increased revenue quarter over quarter and operate in a way that supports the existing businesses of the television studio, the cable networks and the movie studio," he says.