TMCnet Feature
May 29, 2012

DIRECTV to Lose its Head of Content Strategy and Development

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Today brought with it news out of DIRECTV that Derek Chang, executive vice president of content strategy and development, will be stepping down from his post by the end of the year, and will be replaced with former AT&T (News - Alert) executive Dan York.

York, former president of content and advertising sales for AT&T, will be joining DIRECTV in July to being the takeover of Chang's position. York had also served tours at In Demand Networks as well as HBO before taking over the content and advertising on AT&T's U-Verse service.

Chang, meanwhile, had led  DIRECTV’s efforts in programming, original content development, advertising sales and regional sports networks coordination for nearly the last seven years. As for the reason Chang is leaving DIRECTV, a statement from DIRECTV’s Chief Executive Mike White said that Chang wanted to “take his career in a different direction.” Chang was also regarded as a “vocal critic” of price structures for content, especially those of sports deals.

Considering DIRECTV’s focus on sports content as evidenced by its NFL Sunday Ticket package, among others, it's clear that dealing with the rising cost of sports content had been a substantial portion of Chang's work during his tenure.

York, meanwhile, will have a full plate when he assumes control of the content side of DIRECTV, including negotiating deals with Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable's two new sports networks set to launch in southern Californian markets in October. Since Chang had already expressed some dismay with Time Warner's price structure on those networks, York will have his work cut out for him.

Given DIRECTV’s stand in the markets and the vast array of competition that it's facing down—between streaming video options like Netflix and Hulu (News - Alert), as well as direct competitor Dish Network, who is making hay out of DIRECTV’s price increases with a series of ads involving bickering televisions—it's clear that York will have some big problems awaiting him when he steps up to Chang's post. But a guy who's already worked with HBO, as well as some other fairly big names, may have the necessary industry clout required to help get deals made for better terms than Chang could muster.

Just how well York will do at his new post will take some time to fully boil out, but this may well be the start of something good for DIRECTV.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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