Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame (2024)

David Hill is the man who crashed the party — and became the life of it.

The Australia-born business leader dramatically changed sports television in multiple countries with his innovative mind and magnetic persona.

Hill led the launch of News Corp.’s sports division in 1993 and instantly made a splash with technical innovations, including the Fox Box and the Glow Puck, the ancestor of advanced graphics elements, such as the 1st-and-10 line. All were rather demented ideas at the time: imagine, an Aussie telling Americans how to better watch their football.

“I think they invented the expression ‘thinking outside the box’ for David Hill,” says Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a key NFL representative in Fox’s negotiations for the league’s broadcast rights. “Some people have a natural ability to see things the way they are and know how to make them better. David knew something that a lot of people had lost sight of through the years:that sports is entertainment and should be fun.”

Hill’s career began rather humbly, as a 17-year-old copy boy at the Sydney Daily Telegraph. He worked as a reporter until moving to television at 19, finding a home at Nine Network, where he worked on the Australian version of Today.

Moving up to VP, sports, with Nine, Hill attracted the attention of media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Hill joined 21st Century Fox and relocated to Great Britain in 1988, helping launch Sky Television, Britain’s first satellite-TV station, and introducing Eurosport, a pan-Europe, multilingual sports channel.

“Many didn’t understand it, including the advertisers,” says Hill. “None of this had ever been done before. We were faced with immense day-by-day problems in terms of production. It was seven days a week, 16-17 hours a day.”

When Sky Television merged with British Sky Broadcasting in 1990, Hill took over BSkyB sports channel and created Sky Sports in 1991. It was at Sky that he experimented with putting the time and score on-screen, for English Premier League matches.

In 1993, Fox nabbed NFL U.S. broadcast rights. Hill was a part of the negotiations that spurred the league to take a chance on the upstart network.

Murdoch named him president of Fox Sports, and, under his direction, a sports division grew from the ground up in just eight months, with state-of-the-art studios and onsite broadcast facilities for a futuristic feel on-screen. Explosive theme songs, robots, neon pucks: Fox Sports developed an indelible identity.

“He’s as knowledgeable and passionate about sports as anyone in broadcasting, and he has a creative streak that is incomparable,” says NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, whose league partnered with Fox from 1994 to1999. “He thinks about things not as they are but as they could be, and he lets his imagination run wild. He truly is one of a kind.”

Many of Hill’s innovations made sports more accessible to the casual audience. None had more impact than the yellow 1st-and-10 line, which he developed with Sportvision’s Stan Honey.

“I didn’t grow up watching American football,” says Hill, “and it made it easier for me to understand what was going on. Simple as that!”

Under Hill, Fox also dove into baseball, grabbing national rights in 1996, including that year’s World Series. The Fall Classic has aired on Fox every year since 2000.

“I could tell from the first meeting, this guy is going to change the way the game of baseball is seen on television,” says Paul Beeson, former president of Major League Baseball and current president of the Toronto Blue Jays. “There’s an irreverence to him, and there’s a professionalism to him. You knew he was going to do things differently, but you knew he was going to do it better.”

Hill added duties over the years, serving as chairman/CEO of Fox Broadcasting from 1997 to ’99, president of DIRECTV’s entertainment division from 2005 to ’07, and chairman/COO/executive producer of National Geographic Channel. Today, he has shifted away from sports, serving as senior EVP, 21st Century Fox, a role focused on programming, digital initiatives, and more across Latin America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the U.S. Sports, however, still hold a place in his heart.

“Sports are a lot of fun,” says Hill. “If you understand that the secret of life is to have a really good time and you consider what we do for a living, which is producing sports, it doesn’t get better than that.”

Brandon Costa

Inductee David Hill (left) with 21st Century Fox President and COO Chase Carey
Top Fox execs from left: 21st Century Fox President and COO Chase Carey, inductee David Hill, SVP Production Jack Simmons, and SVP of Media Relations Lou D'Ermilio
The always-boisterous David Hill capped off the night with plenty of laughs and graciousness to his fellow sports producers.
Former NBA Commissioner David Stern (right) with legendary sports exec Harvey Schiller
From left: ESPN President John Skipper and Hall of Famers David Hill, Howard Katz, and Geoff Mason
Crazy like Foxes: David Hill (left) and inductee Ed Goren launched Fox Sports from scratch back in 1994.
Left to right: Fox Sports' Jerry Steinberg, YES Network's John Filippelli, Former Fox Sports Chairman David Hill, and Game Creek Video President Pat Sullivan
Inductees Fox Sports pioneer David Hill (left) and CBS and NBC Sports Engineering and Operations guru Ken Aagaard
2017 HOF Inductee Chris Berman conversing with Hall of Famer David Hill
2017 Inductee Linda Rheinstein with her beloved cat and former boss at Fox Sports - Hall of Famer David Hill
Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame (2024)

FAQs

Is Charles Barkley in the sports broadcasting Hall of Fame? ›

In his nearly two-and-a-half decades with the network, Barkley has been awarded four Sports Emmys and has been inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame.

What is the sports broadcasting hall of fame? ›

Our goal is simple: to honor those from across the entire spectrum of the sports-broadcast industry who have had an impact, directly or indirectly, on the way sports television is produced. Each class demonstrates a range and diversity of inductees who truly represent the many facets of our unique business.

How much do you get paid to be a sports announcer? ›

How much does a Sports Broadcaster make in California? The average Sports Broadcaster salary in California is $61,071 as of June 27, 2024, but the range typically falls between $45,802 and $76,338.

What was the first sport to be televised? ›

On 17 May 1939, the United States' first televised sporting event, a college baseball game between the Columbia Lions and Princeton Tigers, was broadcast by NBC from Columbia's Baker Field.

What is Charles Barkley TV salary? ›

It's a smart bet that ESPN, Amazon, and NBC would all vie for his services. Barkley's current 10-year deal with TNT pays him upward of $100 million, according to the New York Post. “If Tony Romo is worth $17 million, Charles is worth at least that, or more,” one source told me. “Charles is a magnet.

Which sports Hall of Fame is hardest to get into? ›

Because of the nature of its larger rosters, pro football is the most difficult, with only 1.1 percent of players ever getting to Canton. Right behind is baseball, with 1.2 percent of the 18,000 major leaguers in history finding their way to Cooperstown.

What is the biggest sports Hall of Fame? ›

Baseball: Cooperstown, New York

The Hall of Fame is home to over 40,000 artifacts, including a baseball thrown by Cy Young in the first modern World Series, Bill Mazeroski's helmet from when he hit the “shot heard 'round the world” in 1960 and a baseball used by Nolan Ryan during his seventh no-hitter.

What sport started the Hall of Fame? ›

Frick if he would support the establishment of a Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The idea was welcomed, and in 1936 the inaugural Hall of Fame class of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner was elected.

What is Stephen A. Smith's salary? ›

His current salary with ESPN is estimated to be around $12 million per year, according to outlets including the New York Post and Sports Illustrated. Smith's contract with ESPN is reportedly up in 2024, and he has said that he wants to be the highest-paid talent at the company.

How much does Howie Long make a year? ›

This kind of intensity must be working for Long because it's estimated that he brings home $4 million a year. His sons have since followed in his NFL footsteps, and both his sons Chris and Kyle Long have had careers in the NFL.

How much does the average ESPN announcer make? ›

Total Salary Range for ESPN Announcer

Create an anonymous post and get feedback on your pay from other professionals. The estimated total pay range for a Announcer at ESPN is $49K–$92K per year, which includes base salary and additional pay. The average Announcer base salary at ESPN is $57K per year.

Why can't the NFL play on Friday? ›

Under the Sports Broadcasting Act of 1961, the NFL isn't allowed to televise any games on Friday or Saturday from the second weekend in September through the second weekend in December (Those two days have been earmarked for high school and college football).

What was the first sport on earth? ›

Wrestling, mankind's oldest and most basic form of recreational combat, traces its origins back to the dawn of civilization. Carvings and drawings estimated to be between 15,000 and 20,000 years old, found in caves in southern Europe, illustrate wrestlers in hold and leverage positions.

What was the first sport called? ›

The oldest sport played is Wrestling. Wrestling is considered the oldest sport in the world. We know because the famous cave paintings in Lascaux, France, dating back to 15,300 years ago, depict wrestlers. Where was the first football game played in the US?

Who is Charles Barkley's current wife? ›

Does Charles Barkley have a Hall of Fame ring? ›

On March 20, 2004, the Phoenix Suns honored Barkley as well by including him in the "Suns Ring of Honor". In recognition of his achievements as a player, Barkley was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Are Ernie Johnson and Charles Barkley friends? ›

Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson have had a longstanding friendship. Since Sir Charles joined the cast of Inside the NBA on TNT in 2000, the two have worked together. Their chemistry is so strong that they even have their own podcast, 'The Steam Room'.

Is there a broadcasters Hall of Fame? ›

The NAB Broadcasting Hall of Fame recognizes radio and television personalities or programs that have earned a place in broadcasting history.

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