HomeNewsIndustry MovesMulti-SportEurope

Killane succeeds Kürten as Eurovision Sport executive director

Glen Killane has been promoted to the role of executive director of Eurovision Sport, the sports arm of the European Broadcasting Union, taking over from  the long-serving Stefan Kürten, who is to leave the umbrella body of public-service broadcasters in June.

Killane (pictured) will step up from the position of deputy director of Eurovision Sport, a role he has held since August 2018.

Before joining the EBU, the Irishman was managing director of Eir Sport and Eir TV, owned by Irish telco Eir, where he led the launch of its OTT subscription sports business and ran the company’s IPTV platform.

He was managing director of Irish public broadcaster RTÉ from 2010 until 2016, during which time he worked alongside current EBU director general Noel Curran.

As deputy director, Killane led the Eurovision Sport acquisition team which, in recent months, has overseen a series of rights agreement extensions with the likes of Amaury Sport Organisation, Fifa, the International Biathlon Union, Uefa and European Gymnastics.

Curran said: “Glen has a proven track record in sports broadcasting in the public and private sectors. He understands the digital requirements of sports federations in the modern age and remains totally committed to the values of our public service members.”

Killane added: “It’s at times like this that we truly appreciate the value of public-service media and I look forward to working with my colleagues and our members as we recover from this pandemic.

“I’m also looking forward to working with our partner federations across Europe to overcome the present challenges facing us all and am excited for the day when we can bring great sporting action back to the screens and radio channels of public service broadcasters throughout the continent.”

The EBU announced Kürten’s surprise departure in December, noting that he had decided to leave. The German executive joined the EBU in 2001 as director of Eurovision operations and sports rights.

He arrived from ZDF, the German public-service broadcaster, where he was controller of sports rights but his ties to the Geneva-based broadcast body date back to 1998, when he became chairman of the EBU Sports Committee.

There was a restructure of the EBU’s sports department in 2018 as the acquisitions responsibilities were no longer split by summer and winter sports. This came after the exits of summer sports head Julien Ternisien (to Infront) and the retirement of winter sports chief Ingolfur Hannesson (who now works as a consultant to Infront).