President and General Manager of NBC Sports Philadelphia Brian Monihan offered insight into his leadership position with Philadelphia’s chief sports network on Monday, Oct. 17, during “Pizza With the Pros.”
Because it could not possibly be ignored, Monihan addressed the current Philly sports climate after a weekend that some are calling the most successful they’ve seen in their lifetime.
Over the span of just four days, the Flyers won both of their first two games of the season, the Phillies won back-to-back home games against the defending champion Atlanta Braves to advance to the NLCS, and the Eagles moved to 6-0 after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field.
To Monihan, it’s a particularly great time of year.
“This is what we’re here for, this is why we’re here. We love this, this is the time of year we want to be busy. The only way you can top it is if the Sixers keep going this week and win a couple,” Monihan said.
Monihan, who was with Comcast Spectacor from 2000-2009 before the network transitioned to NBC Sports, has had a front-row seat to some of the greatest Philadelphia sports moments of the past two decades. The Eagles Super Bowl victory in February 2018 is a moment that stands out to Monihan over all others.
“When they won, it was a very big thing for Philadelphia families and for everybody. We [NBC Sports Philadelphia] work very closely with all of the teams, but it’s clear that the Eagles have the most connection in this marketplace,” Monihan said.
Attending games is something that typically appears on Monihan’s daily docket. If he can get to a nightly or important game, he’ll pounce on the chance to do so, although that comes after a handful of meetings throughout the day.
Monihan described his role as, “different from a lot of the other people in the station.” He’s in charge of content, sales, production, finance, marketing, partnerships and media rights. Upon taking up the GM position, he was forced to grow into a multifaceted approach.
“When I first got the GM job, one of the most important things I needed to do was learn what I didn’t know,” Monihan said. “Because in those areas — operations, engineering, marketing, talent, content — I needed to rely on the experts.”
The television and digital media niches of the greater sports media industry are as hypercompetitive as you could ever find. Its rapid evolution and nuanced changes can leave some networks in the dust. NBC Sports Philadelphia, Monihan said, is doing all it can to stay ahead of the game.
He says fans now, “want insight,” to help bolster the viewing experience, especially as it pertains to sports betting.
“What we figured out is that sports betting was — if you’re going out for dinner — sports betting isn’t the steak, sports betting is the wine that makes the steak taste better. It helps, it enhances, it makes it a little bit different,” he said.
Next week, “Pizza With the Pros” will host the “Tipping Pitches” baseball podcast for a live recording from Bozorth Hall’s King Auditorium. Joining podcast hosts Bobby Wagner and Alex Bazeley will be Jeff Manto, manager of the Trenton Thunder, Liz Welch, assistant GM of the Wilmington Blue Rocks, and Debbie Sharnak, an assistant professor at Rowan.
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