Eurovision Sport has appointed Robert Portman, former Head of Sport and Sports Rights at Yle, as Head of Winter Sport.

Robert has over 18 years’ experience in sports broadcasting and rights management, having worked for the EBU’s Finnish Member Yle since 2001, with extensive knowledge of winter sport. He started his career with the broadcaster as Producer of Entertainment and Events, before taking up the role of Head of Sport, Svenska YLE in 2008. He then held the position of Head of Sports Rights and Major Events before his present role as Head of Sport and Sports Rights.

A major broadcaster of winter sport, at Yle Robert was responsible for overseeing all winter sport output and acquisitions, leading on a very successful broadcast and audience engagement strategy. He has also been the Executive Producer, leading the broadcaster’s Olympic Operations since the London 2012 Olympic Games. Robert will play a pivotal role at Eurovision Sport, a division of the European Broadcasting Union, managing the winter sports portfolio and leading the acquisition strategy for this important sports rights property.

He said: “I am excited to join the EBU and the team at Eurovision Sport to lead on winter sports. With the ever-evolving media landscape, it is evident that sports will be one of the key elements for media companies in the future. I look forward working together with the team to secure important sport rights for our members. Furthermore, coming from the EBU member side, I hope I can contribute with my experience to further improve the dialogue and co-operation between the Members and the permanent services.”

Stefan Kurten, Executive Director Eurovision Sport, added: “We’re very pleased to welcome Robert to the team at Eurovision Sport. He brings with him great experience of winter sports combined with an in-depth understanding of the needs of our Members. Winter sports are an important part of our sports rights portfolio and greatly valued by our Member broadcasters, and we are pleased to be able to strengthen our team with senior executive of this level.” 

Robert will join the EBU later this summer.