David A. Katz
Sports Media Ventures, Inc.
Founder and CEO
David Katz is the Founder and CEO of Sports Media Ventures, Inc., one of the fastest growing digital sports companies. Prior to his entrepreneurial venture, Katz was a senior executive at Yahoo!, managing all aspects of the portal’s key content sites – Sports, Movies, Television, and the original programming division called Y! Studios. Before Yahoo!, Katz spent 8 years at CBS Television, working directly for Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. At CBS, Katz ran the Strategic Planning and Interactive Ventures division, managing the television network’s business strategy as well as having operating control over the fast-growing digital division. Katz started his career as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, working on a variety of strategic projects for Fortune 100 companies. Katz earned his Master’s Degree from Cambridge University with First Class Honours and his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business where he finished top in his class earning the “Dean’s Award of Excellence”.
As the Founder and CEO of Sports Media Ventures, Inc., Katz created and manages a rapidly growing portfolio of digital sports products. The company has partnerships with the National Football League (NFL), Yahoo! Sports, AOL Sports and more than 900 independent websites which reach more than 6 million sports fans per month. In addition to its signature website, SportsFanLive.com, the company owns and operates several leading sports twitter sites including AthleteTweets.com, SportsTweets.com and SportsBlogTweets.com. Sports Media Ventures also created one of the most innovative sports apps for the iPhone, “FanFinder-Sports Bar Locator”, receiving honors in multiple publications as “Best Sports App.” BusinessWeek Magazine named SportsFanLive.com “Best Newcomer Website” and “Best Sports Site”.
Prior to his entrepreneurial venture, Katz served as Yahoo!’s Head of Sports and Entertainment, overseeing all business and content operations for several of the Web’s most trafficked destinations – Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Movies and Yahoo! Television. In March 2006, Katz added Yahoo! Studios to his portfolio, launching a new division responsible for all original video production at Yahoo!. His first show, “THE 9”, was named by Time Magazine as one the “50 Coolest Sites of 2006”. As the senior entertainment executive at the company, Katz worked closely with the Yahoo! CEO on projects with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Katz also forged close relationships with all of the talent agencies (CAA, William Morris Endeavor, ICM, UTA), developing projects for their top actors, writers, producers and directors.
Under Katz’s stewardship, Yahoo! Sports revenue increased 800% in just two years to over $100 million and traffic grew to record levels, beating ESPN.com for the first time in its history to become the most visited sports site on the Internet. Katz oversaw all business and creative functions for Yahoo Sports, including hiring the award-winning editorial team as well as personally creating and executive producing the Emmy-nominated show, “FANTASY FOOTBALL LIVE”.
Prior to Yahoo!, Katz spent 8 years at CBS Television serving as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Interactive Ventures. Reporting to CEO Leslie Moonves, Katz ran the Strategic Planning department and managed the interactive businesses – CBS.com, mobile, video and interactive television. While in this role, he created and executive produced several groundbreaking original programs, including: “HOUSE CALLS: THE BIG BROTHER TALK SHOW”, the first daily online television talk show, and “SURVIVOR LIVE”. Under Katz's direction, CBS.com became the most visited website among the broadcast networks and was profitable every year.
Before CBS, Katz was a management consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York, serving a variety of Fortune 100 companies on business strategy. Katz did extensive research for McKinsey’s Global Opportunity Study, interviewing the CEO’s of major international conglomerates in the United States and EU countries on the challenges to global growth.
Katz earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree summa cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Dean's "Most Outstanding Student Award," finishing at the top of his class. He received a Master’s degree in Management from Cambridge University in England where his thesis on “Internet Strategy for Media Companies” earned First Class Honours. Katz played on the basketball team at both Cambridge and the University of Pennsylvania.
Katz began his sports career as an intern for renowned sports agent, Ron Shapiro. Katz completed special projects for Hall of Fame athletes like Cal Ripken, Jr., Kirby Puckett and Eddie Murray. Katz also co-produced Shapiro’s weekly local talk show on Baltimore’s NBC affiliate.
In 2006, Katz was named to the Sports Business Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” in the world of sports. In 2001, Katz was named to the Hollywood Reporter's "Next Generation" list. In addition to being a Sports Emmy nominee, he is also an Emmy Award-nominated interactive producer for his work on "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "Star Search."
Katz currently serves on the Advisory Boards of the World Congress of Sports, USC’s Center for the Digital Future and the Wharton Sports Business Initiative.