President of Sales, Distribution & Sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
David Levy is president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Levy leads advertising sales strategy and operations, as well as all affiliate sales, marketing promotion, interactive television and technology business development for the Turner Broadcasting domestic news, entertainment, animation and young adults networks and businesses. As president of Turner Sports, Levy is responsible for overseeing the company’s sports programming acquisitions, production, marketing, league relations and sports ad sales unit. Levy is based in New York and reports to Phil Kent, chairman and CEO of TBS, Inc.
Prior to assuming his current role, Levy served as president of Turner Broadcasting Sales and Turner Sports. Levy oversees all advertising sales and distribution for Turner’s portfolio of US networks, as well as for the company’s multiple digital properties. Additionally, he has oversight of Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE).
Under Levy’s leadership, Turner ad sales has continually outperformed the marketplace during the annual television upfront, achieving broadcast parity CPMs for the company’s domestic news (CNN and HLN), entertainment (TBS, TNT and truTV), animation and young adult (Cartoon Network and Adult Swim) networks and businesses. The division is continually recognized for its creativity in developing innovative, integrated sponsorship ideas across multiple platforms.
As president of Turner Sports, Levy has been instrumental in deepening and expanding Turner Broadcasting’s programming relationships, while embarking on an aggressive expansion of digital rights and properties. Turner’s digital sports portfolio includes NBA Digital, NASCAR.com, NCAA Digital, tbs Hot Corner on MLB.com, PGATOUR.com, PGA.com and SI.com. Turner also has a strategic content and sales relationship with Yahoo! Sports.
Levy was instrumental in orchestrating a landmark deal, partnering with CBS, for the television, Internet, wireless, marketing and corporate sponsorship rights to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship through 2024. As part of the agreement, the tournament, beginning in 2011, airs across Turner’s entertainment television networks, TBS, TNT and truTV, as well as CBS. Beginning in 2016, the Final Four and National Championship Game will air on TBS. The agreement also includes Turner’s operational oversight of NCAA March Madness® on Demand (MMOD) on broadband, as well as March Madness mobile assets. Additionally, in a separate agreement, Turner secured a deal to manage NCAA Digital – which includes NCAA.com and its 88 NCAA Championships, as well as management of ad sales for its digital platforms.
In January of 2008, Levy led the company’s efforts in developing a ground-breaking expansion of the longest-running league/network programming partnership in professional sports, with Turner assuming joint management of an array of the NBA’s digital businesses including NBA-TV, NBA.com, WNBA.com, NBADLeague.com and NBA League Pass.
In the summer of 2007, Levy led the efforts to extend Turner’s broadcast partnership with the NBA through the 2015-2016 season. TNT airs exclusive Thursday night doubleheaders during the NBA regular season and has exclusive coverage of NBA All-Star Weekend, which includes the league’s annual All-Star Game. TNT airs up to 52 NBA playoff games, including exclusive coverage of a Conference Final (which alternates between East and West each year).
In 2009, Levy extended broadcast rights to the PGA Championship and PGA Grand Slam of Golf through 2019. The new agreement with the PGA of America expanded to include licensing, with Turner’s Cartoon Network Enterprises (CNE) serving as the PGA’s licensing agent in the youth marketplace.
In 2006, Levy led Turner’s efforts in acquiring exclusive broadcast rights to Major League Baseball’s Division Series and League Championship Series (the network alternates between the National League Championship and American League Championship Series with Fox each year). Levy was also responsible for bolstering Turner’s on-air talent roster that includes Ernie Johnson, Jr., Charles Barkley, Marv Albert, and Kenny Smith. Levy was responsible for adding Reggie Miller, Ron Darling, John Smoltz, Kyle Petty, Chris Webber, Kevin McHale and Steve Kerr to Turner’s lineup of sports talent.
In 2010, Levy added to his many industry honors when he, along with Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin, was selected as the top executive on the MediaWeek 50 list, acknowledging the industry’s most indispensable executives. Levy was also selected as a 2010 Advertising Age Media Maven. Prior to serving as president of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales and Marketing, Levy served as co-president of Turner Broadcasting System International since September 2000, where he oversaw TBS, Inc.’s wide-ranging cable network business activities in Asia, Europe and Latin America, including sales and marketing and distribution; programming and interactive business development; and joint partnerships and business alliances outside the United States.
Levy began his career at Turner Broadcasting in 1986 as an account executive in the entertainment division. He later played an integral role in developing and overseeing the Turner Sports ad sales division and was named SVP for international ad sales in 1994, and EVP in 1997. In 1998, Levy became Turner’s first president of international Aadvertising sales.