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The Walt Disney Company

Director, Business Affairs

Job Summary:

ESPN is looking for 2 Directors of Business Affairs to join our talented Undefeated and Programming, Acquisitions & Original Content organizations. These positions play a vital role in their respective organization's evolution strategy, ensuring that The U and the Original Content team enter into smart, innovative, legally sound partnerships and agreements. As the Director of Business Affairs you will provide business and legal counsel in connection with The Undefeated and Original Content ongoing expansion goals.

You will perform work directly related to structuring, negotiating, and advising on a wide variety of business matters, including, but not limited to - deals relating to the development, production, and acquisition of original programming content and digital media; joint venture partnerships and initiatives with external entities, as well as other Disney segments; and licensing & distribution in relation to content and related IPs.

The position will intersect and collaborate with colleagues from across the Disney enterprise daily, particularly Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED), ESPN & Sports Content, and Disney General Entertainment (DGE); therefore, the role requires a savvy relationship manager who can represent the interests of the company with professionalism and aplomb. The position will report directly to the Vice President, Content Business Strategy & Operations. It will also be a part of the ESPN & Sports Content Business Affairs team, with a dotted line into the Senior Director, Content Business Strategy & Partnerships within ESPN & Sports Content.

The ideal candidate would have knowledge of or expertise in branded content, sponsorships, P&L management, live events, OTT/SVOD, audio, publishing, strategic planning, brand marketing, consumer research, and analytics. They’ll be forward-thinking and keep abreast of trends, competitors, and business challenges; whilst continuously thinking critically about various developments that may impact the overall strategy in a constantly evolving media environment.

This position is located in NY, but may have some flexibility on location to CT, LA or DC.


  • This position will be expected to exercise significant independent judgement, discretion, and decision-making authority to directly handle the evaluating, structuring, negotiating and implementing of a wide range of agreements as well as the ongoing supervision of those deals.
  • Will work closely with colleagues within the content & editorial team and across the company (including Legal, Finance, Programming, Marketing and Affiliate Sales) throughout all stages of a deal, including compiling and prioritizing deal points from the various business units, communicate and champion best practices, and at all times to operate in and be a proponent for the best interest of the company.
  • Manage business aspect of original content and tent pole events, such as: distribution rights and clearance issues that may arise in connection with the acquisition and exploitation of content across owned platforms and third party platforms, advising and supporting senior executives on key business issues and rights matters, assisting on global content exploitation deals and strategy.
  • Provide ad-hoc assistance in the Business Affairs needs of certain ESPN properties.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Seven+ years of experience in Legal and/or Business Affairs, Business Development, Partnerships or a major deal making role
  • Experience with structuring, negotiating and implementing complex deals

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Passion for the work untaken by The Undefeated and a genuine interest in elevating stories that center on race and culture.
  • Passion for ESPN’s original content portfolio which includes ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 series, ESPN Films and ESPN+ Originals.
  • Experience structuring, negotiating and implementing entertainment deals (e.g., production, acquisition, distribution, digital, emerging businesses, etc.)
  • Experience in the digital media and/or technology space
  • Experience clearing content rights and working with production/packaging companies
  • Superior analytical and writing skills and ability, together with strong business and financial acumen
  • Strong negotiation skills, both as an individual and with a team
  • Ability to strategize and think creatively; strong problem-solving skills required
  • Exceptional organizational, prioritization and time management skills with the ability to juggle multiple, high-priority projects, with a keen attention to detail
  • Knowledge and understanding of digital media initiatives, platforms, products and services (social networks, distribution models and platforms, etc.) and the entertainment industry generally
  • Professional, confident demeanor and a team player
  • Ability to perform duties under minimal supervision while exercising discretion and independent, sound judgment
  • Must excel in a fast-paced, results-oriented work environment

Required Education

  • Bachelor's Degree

Preferred Education

  • JD or MBA degree preferred

Apply Now

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