Ex-BBC digital boss recruited by Discovery to develop "catastrophically bad" digital service ahead of next Olympics

  • Ex-BBC boss will need to improve panned Discovery digital sports offering

One of the people behind the BBC's digital Olympic offering has taken up a new role at Discovery Communications, as the US broadcasting giant prepares to take on coverage of the Olympics across most of Europe from 2018 onward through its Eurosport service.

Ralph Rivera – formerly Director, BBC Digital – has been appointed to the newly created position of Managing Director, Eurosport Digital. At the BBC, he was involved in delivering coverage of the 2012 London Games and was responsible for the BBC iPlayer.

Discovery hopes to tap into that expertise for the expansion of its digital service, which has recently taken a beating, with its Eurosport Player recently ceasing to work on smart TVs and receiving poor reviews from users - with just a one-star rating on Apple's App Store, with one user describing the subscription product as "catastrophically bad."

Regarding the appointment and pointing towards the company's goal of attracting more users to the Eurosport Player, Peter Hutton, CEO of Eurosport, said:
“Eurosport is focused on the further acquisition and delivery of locally relevant, premium sports content that will continue to attract more subscribers to the Eurosport Player. We continue to build momentum through the recent acquisition of premium rights such as Wimbledon across Europe and the Bundesliga in Germany. As we plan the enhanced delivery of these acquisitions and take ownership of the Olympic Rings from January 1, 2017, as the official multi-platform broadcast rights holder for Europe through 2024, we look forward to having Ralph as part of the Eurosport team."

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