Dennis Cleary

ESPN, Director, Remote Production Operations

Dennis Cleary, an ESPN veteran of more than 20 years, serves as a director of remote production operations. He is responsible for leading the day-to-day remote operations, personnel, and technical management for a wide range of sports and special events. These include the Little League, WNBA, and tennis – including the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, ESPN’s largest annual event due to its role as host broadcaster. While at ESPN, he and his teams have been nominated for multiple Sports Emmy Awards and won the 2018 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Technical Team Remote for the US Open.

Cleary also manages the Special Olympics, including the World Games in Los Angeles (2015), Austria (2017), and Abu Dhabi (2019), as well as the USA Games in Seattle (2018). He also lead ESPN’s operations efforts for the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando, FL. In addition, Cleary oversees special projects throughout the year, coordinates research and development of new remote technologies with vendors, and leads all of ESPN’s mobile unit operations (since 2018).

Throughout 2020, Cleary has led ESPN’s innovative Live From Home studio, remote, and commentary initiatives, ensuring everyone’s safety while continuing to facilitate the creation of industry-leading content during the COVID19 pandemic. He also worked with other leaders across the company to create and implement the guidelines for a safe return to the on-site production of remote events. In 2019, Cleary added the oversight of the day-to-day packaging operations for all sports across ESPN platforms to his responsibilities.

Cleary was promoted to his current position in 2018, having served as associate director since 2014. He joined ESPN in 1997 as a studio technician in production operations. In 2001, Cleary joined remote production operations as an operations coordinator and has advanced steadily through a series of promotions. In 2004, he was named senior operations coordinator and later in the year was promoted to operations producer. Cleary rose to senior operations producer in 2008 and to manager in 2010.

Cleary oversaw college basketball for ten years (2001-11) and motorsports from 2011 – 2018 (NASCAR, IndyCar, NHRA, and Global RallyCross), including the Indy 500, one of ESPN’s largest events with more than 100 cameras for the final six of those years. He also managed ESPN’s coverage at the MLB All-Star Game (2003 – 2007), NCAA College World Series (2008-11), boxing (2018-19), soccer (2018-19), and Spelling Bee (2018).

Cleary graduated from Quinnipiac University in 1999 with a degree in mass communications.

Featured in: Future of Remote Production Roundtable (12/16)

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