Christine Driessen, executive vice president and chief financial officer for ESPN, is responsible for overseeing all of the company’s financial operations worldwide and serving as financial advisor on strategic planning for all acquisitions, new business ventures and programming initiatives. She is based at the company’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn.
Driessen’s strong business acumen has most recently played a key role in the company’s major multimedia programming rights deals including an historic 20-year agreement with the SEC through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network which will launch in August of 2014. Other rights deals include Major League Baseball, Monday Night Football, the new college football playoff, the Rose, Sugar and Orange Bowls, the ACC, The Pac 12 and the Big 12, US Open Tennis, The Masters and British Open golf. Driessen also has played an important role in the company’s broadband internet strategy, including the mobile and WatchESPN businesses. Driessen played a key role in the financial strategy for the recently completed Time Warner, Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter and AT&T U-Verse omnibus distribution deals and the successful launch of ESPN3. Driessen has been instrumental in the launches of ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes and espnW as well as negotiating agreements for ESPN’s foreign investments.
Driessen has received many honors and awards throughout her career:
- Honored by Women in Sports and Events (WISE) with its 2014 "Women of Distinction" award
- Ranked #3 by Sports Illustrated in its 2013 "10 Most Influential Women in Sports" list
- Named one of the "Women in the Game" by Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable (2013)
- Honored by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWM) with a special Women in Numbers award (2012)
- Since 2004, consistently recognized by CableFAX Magazine as one of the "CableFAX 100" and, since 2008, one of the "Most Powerful Women in Cable"
- Selected by Variety as a "Woman of Impact" (2010)
- Cracked the BusinessWeek Power 100 (2008)
- Cited by CableWORLD as one of the "50 Most Influential Women in Cable" (2004, ’05, ’06 & ’07)
- Named a "Wonder Woman" by Multichannel News (2006)
- Honored by WISE as one of the "WISE Women of the Year" (2006)
- Listed by SportsBusiness Journal among "The 20 Most Influential Women in Sports Business" (2005) and as a "Game Changer" (2012)
- Named one of Sports Business Journal’s "Top Ten Female Sports Executives of the Year" (1999 & 2000)
- Given the "Helping Girls Grow Strong Award" by the Girl Scouts Council as a role model helping today’s girls become tomorrow’s leaders (2004)
- Recognized by Girls, Inc. as one of America’s foremost women in media for being "a strong, smart, and bold role model for girls" (2004)
- Honored by United Way’s Women United in Philanthropy with the "Woman of Excellence and Achievement" award (2011)
- Received the Fordham Business "Distinguished Alumna Award" (2004)
- Listed by the Hartford Courant among "10 Who Make a Difference" (1999)
- Chosen as "CFO of the Year" (large public company) by Hartford Business Journal (2008)
Driessen is a member of the ESPN Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Women’s Sports Foundation and served a six-year term, from 2005-2011, on the Fordham University Board of Trustees.
Driessen joined ESPN in August 1985 as controller and was named vice president, finance and planning in 1990. In 1994, she was promoted to senior vice president and chief financial officer, and in 1998 she was elevated to the position of executive vice president. Prior to joining ESPN, Driessen worked for the public accounting firm of Peat, Marwick & Mitchell in New York City.
Driessen graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor of science degree in accounting. She is married with two children.