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George Bodenheimer's biography
ABC Sports Online

George Bodenheimer, who joined ESPN in 1981, was named ESPN president in October 1998. Since that time, ESPN's domestic and international businesses have grown to more than 40 entities. He set the strategy for The Walt Disney Company's successful acquisition of the NBA, and negotiated a wide-ranging, multi-media agreement with the league, making ESPN the first television network in history to own television rights to all four major professional leagues at the same time.

Under Mr. Bodenheimer's direction, ESPN has increased its commitment to original program content -- the result is ESPN Original Entertainment, which produces popular programming outside the network's traditional event and news/information genres -- and acquired the businesses and assets of BASS, the world's largest fishing organization, leading to the creation of another programming initiative, ESPN Outdoors.

Through Mr. Bodenheimer's leadership, ESPN has secured long-term agreements with the NCAA, including every game of the Women's Basketball Tournament, beginning this year; the PGA Tour; the French Open, and World Cup and MLS soccer. His focus on utilizing new technologies to serve fans has led to ESPN's variety of services, including interactive television, broadband, video on demand, wireless products and -- launching March 30 -- ESPN HD, a high-definition simulcast service of ESPN.

ESPN will also launch ESPN Deportes, a 24-hour Spanish language network to be distributed in the U.S. Offshore, nine new networks have been launched since Mr. Bodenheimer became president, including ESPN Classic Sport in France and in Italy.

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Howard Katz resigns as ABC Sports President