Juan Carlos Rodriguez is the president of Univision Deportes (UD), the multimedia sports division of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America. He leads Univision Deportes across all platforms and reports directly to the CEO. Throughout his tenure, Rodriguez has grown Univision Deportes business by expanding its footprint across all of Univision’s platforms and has led UDN (Univision Deportes Network) to be one of the fastest growing sports networks since its launch in 2012 and the leading sports destination for Hispanic America.
Since joining Univision, Rodriguez has spearheaded the acquisition of exclusive Spanish-language media rights to some of the most important properties and tournaments in sports, including Major League Soccer, the U.S., Mexican and Canadian national teams, including World Cup Qualifiers, UEFA national team competitions, CONCACAF Gold Cup and Champions League, Copa América, and 16 of the 18 teams that comprise the Liga MX soccer league. Under his leadership, Univision Deportes has expanded its portfolio to include the Formula 1 World Championship, Top Rank boxing, the World Series of Boxing, a renewed digital partnership with the NFL and a multimedia partnership with the NBA.
Under Rodriguez’ guidance, UDN (Univision Deportes Network) has become the No. 1 Spanish-language sports network in the country, just five years since its debut, and is consistently among the top five sports networks in the country, regardless of language. Rodriguez was also responsible of delivering the most successful FIFA World Cup broadcast in the United States to date. He has invested in a renowned talent roster, state of the art production sets and studios, and cutting-edge technology, including new technology to produce live sports telecasts remotely.
In 2016, Univision Deportes kicked off coverage of the historic 100th anniversary edition of Copa America with a programming lineup centered on and leading up to the biggest sporting event of the year. Hosted in the United States for the first time, the tournament united the Americas and the Caribbean in the name of soccer, with Rodriguez and his team leading Univision Deportes to be at the forefront of coverage for fútbol fans. Univision Deportes delivered a record-shattering Copa America Centenario, delivering ratings that surpassed those of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Consequently, in June, UDN became the No. 1 sports network in primetime, besting ESPN, Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network. (Source: Nielsen, NPM, NPMH (ESPD/beIE), for June UDN story live data, Live+SD for all else, 2016 through 09/18. UDN #1 story based on Live data, Primetime (8 pm – 11pm).
Prior to Univision Deportes, Rodriguez served as CEO of Televisa Deportes Network (TDN) where he grew the brand to become Mexico’s sports content brand of choice. In addition to the launch of TDN, he spearheaded the launch of sister properties TDN HD, TDN 2.0, TDN Centro America and TDW – the No. 1 Mexican sports radio brand in Mexico. At TDN, Rodriguez successfully negotiated and acquired television/radio rights for FIFA, NFL, MLB, NBA, UEFA, RAI, CANAL PLUS and ISO.
Previously, Rodriguez was co-founder and CEO of Grupo Estadio. Under his leadership, Grupo Estadio became the leading partner for DIRECTV to produce and distribute the 2002 FIFA World Cup. A precursor to today’s TDN, Grupo Estadio was later acquired by Televisa. Prior to that role, he was a senior executive at Calzado Técnico, an Adidas manufacturer in Mexico.
Rodriguez has been named one of the “31 Most Powerful People in U.S. Soccer” by FourFourTwo, featured twice in Cablefax’s power player list “The Cablefax 100” and twice in Cablefax’s “Most Influential Minorities in Cable.” Rodriguez is recipient of Cynopsis Sports’ 2015 Navigator Award and named in Sports Business Journal’s annual list of sports business mavens, “50 Most Influential.” Under his direction, Univision Deportes has garnered four Sports Emmy Awards for excellence in sports coverage, and most recently, a Cynopsis TV Award under “Best Ad-Supported Cable Network.”
Rodriguez is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at IPADE Business School and holds a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Iberoamericana. In 2016, Rodriguez completed Wharton’s Advanced Management Program (AMP) at the University of Pennsylvania, an exclusive and selective program for senior leaders and executives. He is founder of Con Pelotas, A.C., a non-profit organization which gives away soccer balls to children in southern Mexico.