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Exclusive: Longtime ESPN Executive Producer Jay Rothman Officially Working With The XFL

Sources close to the XFL confirmed on Wednesday that longtime ESPN executive producer Jay Rothman has begun working with the league’s new ownership group in a producing and advisory capacity. Rothman has come on board to lend his industry experience to help the XFL in its future content production and distribution plans.

Jay Rothman has a wealth of experience working directly with broadcasting talent, teams, and leagues in producing football programming at its highest level across multiple platforms. Rothman, in a career spanning four decades, is a multiple-time Emmy award-winning executive producer who has worked for 33 years at ESPN, during that lengthy stretch, producing and overseeing multiple live sporting events and in-studio shows like Monday Night Football from 2001-2020, as well as NFL Draft Coverage and College Football for ABC Sports/ESPN.

In recent months, several sources have indicated that the XFL plans to produce year-round content on multiple platforms (Network, cable, streaming, social media, etc.). The league aims to provide complementary programming that takes you behind the scenes as a lead-up to when the XFL eventually makes its return to the field. A strategy that the XFL could implement a year before kickoff. (presumably and most likely at a later timeframe than initially anticipated in the spring of 2022)

Rothman is a big get for the XFL’s new ownership group. Specifically as it pertains to the league’s goals of content distribution through all platforms globally.

News of Rothman’s involvement with the XFL comes on the same week that RedBird Capital partners announced the hiring of top NFL executive Kevin LaForce. The NFL’s media strategies architect since 2017, LaForce, will become the firm’s managing director. LaForce will be helping RedBird with its investments in sports, media, and technology.

LaForce helped negotiate billions in broadcast deals for the NFL, including its most recent, announced back in March, achieving values that are worth more than $110 billion over the next decade. LaForce also played a pivotal role in the NFL’s addition of streaming partners to its traditional television lineup and adroitly led other significant partnerships like the NFL’s data deal with Genius Sports.

Although it’s unofficial at this time, what involvement LaForce will have in Gerry Cardinale and RedBird’s property, the XFL, it’s reasonable to assume that much like Rothman, LaForce could play a significant role in assisting the XFL in the same fashion that he did the NFL through all of its media deals and properties.

The XFL’s chairwoman and owner, Dany Garcia, let the cat of the bag Wednesday night on her Instagram feed. Strategically directing the viewer towards Jay Rothman’s name on the screen.

The “Content Plan” presumably created as a template by Rothman and displayed on the screen looks to be a demo of XFL marketing assets. This, hints to a potential formation of a media company, which, in theory could be used to form a promotional partnership between CFL and any other future partners.

The league’s co-owner, Dany Garcia also dropped a hint about what the XFL’s playbook could be in the future by displaying the name ‘NewCo” on screen.

In recent weeks, sources have indicated that while the XFL and CFL talks are still ongoing. One of the options being discussed between both leagues is the idea of a parent company structure, with both football entities operating separately but under the same business umbrella together.

Although the full details are still a work in progress and not yet confirmed or finalized, the name ‘NewCo,’ a generic name typically used as a stand-in by most companies intending to have a combined entity, seems to provide the most vital clue since March to where the XFL and CFL could be headed together in the future.

XFL fans who have waited patiently for more news from the league will probably hope that Dany Garcia keeps redoing her nails on Instagram.

I am a credentialed reporter and writer. Over time, I have covered and followed the NFL, NCAA, and multiple football leagues intensely. Like the USFL, CFL, WLAF, NFL Europe, AAF, UFL, and of course, the XFL. You can follow me on Twitter @byMikeMitchell

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