Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions
Ilan Ben-Hanan, who joined ESPN in 2002, was named vice president, programming & acquisitions, in March 2017. Based in Los Angeles, he is responsible for the strategic scheduling direction of ESPN’s linear networks. In addition, he is tasked with providing input across all sport categories, with an eye towards maximizing usage and revenue across all platforms. In this position, he also oversees the department’s guidelines and conditions team along with ABC Network relations.
In 2019, he added oversight of ESPN’s sports betting content, as well as responsibility for ESPN’s relationship with the NHL
Ben-Hanan had been vice president, college sports programming since July 2015. In this role, he managed the relationships and rights acquisition activities for the network’s entire college sports portfolio, comprised of the College Football Playoff and more than 30 bowl games, more than 20 NCAA Championships, and an industry-leading regular-season schedule of football, men’s and women’s basketball, and Olympic sports content.
Ben-Hanan was promoted to vice president, programming and acquisitions in 2011, overseeing college football programming across ESPN networks. He was the daily contact on college football for all major areas and businesses within ESPN, for ESPN externally, and with all leagues, conferences, schools and bowls, including the College Football Playoff and previous Bowl Championship Series post-season system.
Ben-Hanan joined ESPN in 2002 as a programming associate for college basketball and X Games, and in April 2004 was promoted to planner, news & information and soccer. He joined the team that launched ESPNU and was promoted to Manager, ESPNU programming, in September 2005. Charged with creating the entire programming schedule for the network, he secured live events from conferences and institutions across the country at all levels of college sports. Seven months later, he was named director, college basketball programming. In that role, he set the schedule and strategy for more than 1,000 basketball games annually and created the schedule for the first Tip-off Marathon. In August 2008, Ben-Hanan accepted the newly created position of senior director, West Coast programming, and moved back to his native California to work in ESPN’s Los Angeles office. During that time, he negotiated the extension of ESPN’s West Coast Conference rights agreement and led the interdepartmental efforts for the 2010 Rose Bowl and the BCS National Championship game in Pasadena while overseeing all ESPN-branded programming appearing on Disney XD.
A three-time cancer survivor, Ben-Hanan has been instrumental in the creation and promotion of one of ESPN’s and The V Foundation for Cancer Research’s biggest fundraising events, Jimmy V Week, an event he conceptualized in 2007. Ben-Hanan was graduated from the University of Southern California, with a bachelor’s of arts a degree in broadcast journalism. He has appeared on the sports quiz shows Sports Geniuses and ESPN’s 2-Minute Drill. In 2017, he was named to Sports Business Journal’s annual list, “Forty Under 40.”