Ilan Ben-Hanan, ESPN’s lead college football programming executive since 2011, has been promoted to Vice President of College Sports Programming. In this role, Ben-Hanan manages 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. He will continue to be based in Los Angeles and will now report to Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling.
Prior to his new position, Ben-Hanan oversaw college football programming across ESPN networks as Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions. 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.
“Ilan is widely recognized throughout the world of intercollegiate athletics for his leadership, creativity, knowledge and dedication to all college sports,” said Magnus. “He has demonstrated the necessary leadership skills for this position in numerous situations, most recently with the successful long-term rights agreement for the highly sought after College Football Playoff.”
Ben-Hanan joined ESPN in 2002 as Programming Associate for college basketball and X Games, and was promoted to Planner, news & information and soccer, in April 2004. 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 of 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 production facility. 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 two-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. The son of immigrants, his father came to the U.S. from Israel, and his mother, from Brazil.