New York, NY – June 6, 2013 – Ray Hopkins has been named President of Television Networks Distribution, CBS Corporation, it was announced today by Joseph Ianniello, Chief Operating Officer, CBS Corporation, to whom he will report. In this newly created role, Hopkins will work closely with Ianniello to secure new retransmission and affiliation agreements for CBS’s broadcast and cable networks, including the CBS Television Network, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Smithsonian Networks and TVGN (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate).
“CBS Corporation provides much of the best content in the business to cable operators, satellite providers and telco services, among others,” said Ianniello. “Realizing full value from the growing number of viable distribution services is a cornerstone of the Company’s growth strategy. We are very pleased to add an executive of Ray’s caliber – particularly one with his wealth of relevant experience – to bring this initiative to another level. Leslie, myself, and all of us at CBS look forward to his contributions in that regard.”
An industry veteran, Hopkins brings more than 24 years of experience to the role, including nine years as the Chief Operating Officer of YES Network (Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network), where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company’s affiliate sales, legal, finance, business development, new media, marketing, human resources and communications departments. YES was the first regional sports network in the country to be distributed by cable operators outside its home-team territory, and the network is now the largest regional sports network in the country.
Hopkins, who joined YES as COO in 2004, was also pivotal in YES’ partnering with Major League Baseball Advanced Media to produce the first live in-market streaming offering in professional sports including games with local television rights. Hopkins was instrumental in delivering the first-ever 3D Major League Baseball (MLB) telecasts and the first interactive MLB telecasts. He also launched YES’ VOD product, and managed the rollout of YES’ 24/7 standalone high-definition channel, YES HD.
Prior to joining the YES Network, Hopkins was Executive Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for Gemstar-TV Guide from 2002 to 2004. While there, he was responsible for distributing Gemstar’s Interactive Programming Guide and its cable networks TV Guide Channel and the TVG Network, the premier interactive horseracing network. Hopkins came to Gemstar-TV Guide from FOX Cable Networks, where he most recently had been Senior Vice President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing. While at FOX Cable Networks from 1999 to 2002, Hopkins managed subscriber growth and affiliate revenue for FOX Cable, which included FOX Sports Net, FX, National Geographic Channel, SPEED Channel, FOX Sports World, FitTV, FOX Movie Channel and FOX Sports en Español. He also oversaw retransmission consent deals for all FOX owned-and-operated stations.
Earlier, Hopkins was Vice President of National Accounts for FOX/Liberty Networks. Before that, he was Vice President of Affiliate Relations for FOX Sports West and FOX Sports West 2. Hopkins began his cable television career at CNBC in 1989 in affiliate relations.
Hopkins holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Gettysburg College; he received Gettysburg’s “Young Alumni Achievement Award” in 2002. He is also a graduate of the Executive Education Program for Senior Executives at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Hopkins is a member of the Gettysburg College Board of Trustees and is on the board of the cable industry’s T. Howard Foundation.