FOX SPORTS CEO Patrick Delany has paid tribute to Ian Frykberg, one of the greats of the sports media world, upon news of his passing.
Ian was widely connected and loved for his judgement, measured advice and his ability to bring companies together on deals - a gentle giant capable of uniting parties at war.
Ian was crucial to the formation of the Super Rugby competition, and there was rarely an Olympics media deal without Ian being in the middle of it. His involvement in the 2011 AFL rights negotiation redefined the sports broadcast paradigm, leading to the re-establishment of FOX FOOTY in 2012. He was a valued consultant to Foxtel, FOX SPORTS and News Corporation for many years.
Ian was unbelievably connected and very much loved in the close-knit sports media world. His judgment, measured advice and ability to bring warring sides together made him a sports rights deal maker without equal.
FOX SPORTS CEO, Patrick Delany, said: “Ian was a hugely respected colleague with whom we had a very close working relationship. More than that though, he was a great friend to many at FOX SPORTS and we were hugely privileged to have access to his wisdom and deep experience.
“Whenever Ian rang during a negotiation and started a conversation with ‘mate, mate, mate, mate’ I knew I wouldn’t like what he was about to tell me, but I also knew his opinion would be unbelievably well defined and backed up with extraordinary experience.
“Ian will be greatly missed and from all of FOX SPORTS we offer our deepest sympathies and condolences to his wife, Caroline, his children Jarrod, Jake, Nina and Georgina, and his grandchildren Claudia and Martha,” Delany concluded.
During his 40-plus years in the industry, Ian was involved in the negotiations for television rights deals including the 2012 London Summer Olympics on Foxtel, the AFL, NRL, FFA and ARU.
Ian’s company, International Sports Television, is internationally renowned as the most respected and premier sports broadcasting company in the business.
Foxtel Chief Executive Richard Freudenstein also expressed his sadness on news. Freudenstein said, “He was one of life’s true gentlemen, a great guy and a trusted friend.
“There are so many TV and sports executives around the world that owe all or parts of their careers to Frykers. He has advised and mentored so many of us and has been a voice of calm and reason in an often unreasonable world. He will be truly missed around the world.
“I extend my sincere sympathy and that of the many people at Foxtel who worked with Ian over the years to Caroline and the family.”