John Skipper, in his first year as ESPN president, has taken a hands-on approach to management, helping secure agreements for programming rights and ad packages. Skipper is also confident that ESPN will rise above the current debate over sports programming costs. "There clearly is a lot in the atmosphere about sports right costs and what that means for distributors and consumers, but you really have to separate us from the regional sports nets," he said. "Nobody is really complaining about us. Never a peep was heard when we did our deals, because the operators understand that we bring the most value."
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