Jed Drake is a veteran executive with more than three decades experience in the cable sports broadcasting sector. His production-focused career has spanned the entire history of ESPN, where he spearheaded significant industry innovations, including high-definition simulcasts of regularly aired broadcasts. Mr. Drake was also responsible for introducing Major League Baseball into the network’s lineup in the early 1990s and has recently overseen unprecedented expansion of World Cup soccer coverage. All of the 2010 games in South Africa were notably aired on a combination of ESPN, ABC Sports, ESPN2, and ESPN Classic.
With experience as regional New York sportscaster in the late 1970s, Jed Drake joined the ESPN team shortly after its launch. His quality production values led to responsibilities as Coordinating Producer by the late 1980s and as Senior Coordinating Producer in the early 1990s. An early milestone was Mr. Drake’s coverage of the America’s Cup in Freemantle, Australia, which drew significant media attention to the sport of competitive sailing. He continued to lead ESPN coverage of America’s Cup sailing regatta events until 1995.
Since accepting his current position as Senior Vice President and Executive Producer of Event Production, Drake has continued to test the limits of production technologies. His introduction of the K Zone for Major League Baseball broadcasts notably earned ESPN an Innovative Technical Achievement Sports Emmy Award in 2002. This unique graphic interface enables the ball’s position relative to the strike zone to be tracked, giving home viewers insight into the pitcher’s throwing style and accuracy around the plate. Jed Drake’s recent efforts as a remote producer for the 2010 World Cup paid substantial dividends, with viewership increasing by 33 percent compared with the previous 2006 World Cup soccer broadcast in Germany.