Amazon is tapping ESPN alum Marie Donoghue as its new vice president overseeing global sports programming.
The streamer is looking to use Donoghue’s wealth of knowledge to improve its sports programming strategy. The industry veteran brings spent 19 years at ESPN before departing in 2017. During her time at the network, she oversaw digital verticals including FiveThirtyEight, Bill Simmons’ Grantland and The Undefeated. Additionally, Donoghue was in charge of ESPN Films, which included the “30 for 30” franchise.
Donoghue joins the e-commerce turned streaming company as it is in the process of placing more focus on sports programming. The company is nearing the start of its second season streaming live “Thursday Night Football” NFL games and has also started to offer Premiere League matches and the U.S. Open tennis tournament in the U.K.
Sports programming is part of Amazon’s larger strategy to attract consumers to its Prime subscription, known for its free two-day shipping on Amazon purchases. The company’s streaming service also includes scripted originals such as the upcoming series “Jack Ryan” and “Transparent,” which won Emmys for both lead actor and direction in 2015 and 2016.
The company is also reportedly in the process of developing an ad-supported streaming service, according to The Information. The free service is expected to be offered to all those who purchase one of Amazon’s streaming services, including its Fire TV.