Executive Vice President, Programming & Acquisitions
Rosalyn Durant returned to ESPN in March 2023 as executive vice president, programming & acquisitions, leading programming, media rights deals, ESPN+, ESPN International, Andscape and espnW. Durant spent the past three years in Orlando as senior vice president of Disney Springs, Water Parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports.
While at the parks, she oversaw Disney Springs, Walt Disney World’s shopping, dining and entertainment destination; both Walt Disney World water parks; the resort’s sports operations, including ESPN Wide World of Sports complex; and the workforce management, operations training and business transformation teams. She took on the role in March 2020 and played a critical role in helping restart the 2019-20 NBA season in the “Bubble” at ESPN Wide World of Sports during the pandemic.
Prior to her stint with Disney Parks, Durant most recently served as senior vice president of ESPN’s College Networks, overseeing ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network, and was a central member of the cross-functional leadership team that successfully launched the ACC Network. Under Durant’s leadership, ESPNU and SEC Network achieved full distribution and she laid the groundwork for ACC Network to reach that same milestone shortly after her departure in 2020. Both SEC Network and ACC Network boast robust programming lineups developed under her guidance, and Durant was a key driver in the creation of the critically acclaimed TrueSouth on SECN.
Durant’s 24-year Disney and ESPN career features numerous honors, including making Sports Business Journal‘s 2019 Power Player list and Savoy Magazine’s 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America. Durant was named a 2020 Multichannel News Wonder Woman, which acknowledges a group of extraordinary women in media for their commitment to enhancing the business, challenging the status quo and being an example for young leadership around the world. She was a Charlotte Business Journal Women in Business Award winner in 2020 and honored for her inclusion on the CableFax Most Powerful Women list (2017, 2018 – which featured Durant on the cover, and 2019), CableFax Most Influential Minorities list (2018 & 2019), and Sports Business Journal’s 40 under 40 in 2015.
She is a member of The Walt Disney Company’s CEO Diversity and Inclusion Council and sits on the executive committee for the board of directors of the T. Howard Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing diversity in the multimedia and entertainment industry.
Durant has previously served in a multitude of roles across ESPN, including as vice president, college sports programming and acquisitions, overseeing all of ESPN’s college sports relationships, rights acquisitions and programming. This included the inaugural College Football Playoff, NCAA Championships, football, men’s and women’s basketball, Olympic and high school sports. She was named vice president, programming & acquisitions in 2007, and managed ESPN’s relationships with the NBA, Major League Lacrosse, Major League Soccer, FIFA, UEFA, US Soccer and Olympic sport leagues. Durant played a significant role in the eight-year contract extension with the NBA announced in June 2007, which began during the 2008-09 season and included ESPN’s most-comprehensive digital rights package negotiated with any major professional sports league at the time.
After interning with ESPN in affiliate sales and marketing in the summer of 1998, Durant joined that department full-time in 1999 as a marketing coordinator. She rapidly advanced over the next several years, negotiating distribution agreements for the carriage of ESPN and Disney networks and services en route to becoming senior director, national accounts in October 2005. In February 2006, she transferred to the programming department as a senior director, programming.
Durant graduated in 1999 from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and a minor in marketing. Durant splits her time between Bristol and ESPN’s Charlotte office.