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Sporting News names Bodenheimer most powerful in sports

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MUMBAI: The list is out. ESPN/ABC Sports president is the most powerful person in sports. So says the Sporting News' annual listing.

The president of ESPN and ABC Sports, George Bodenheimer was one of the 100 most influential people in sports.

Moving up three spots from last year's rankings, Bodenheimer has been with ESPN for 23 years and was elevated to president in 1998. Last year's most powerful person, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner slipped to ninth place this year.

Bodenheimer was appointed as president of ABC last year. Under his guidance, ESPN became the first network to televise all four major team sports, says a company release.

According to Bodenheimer, "I am proud to accept this honour on behalf of everyone at ESPN and ABC Sports. The fact that The Sporting News, with its great history and tradition, has recognized the tremendous value our people create every day is a terrific way to begin the New Year."

Close on the heels of the ESPN President is NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was second on the list followed by Nike CEO Phil Knight, baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford, says the release.

The rest of the top 10 include NBA commissioner David Stern, IMG co-CEO Bob Kain, Nextel senior vice president of marketing Mark Schweitzer and Nextel senior director of sports and event marketing Michael Robichaud and CEO Fox chairman David Hill.

Besides Bodenheimer, ESPN had another representative on the charts, the executive vice president programming and production Mark Shapiro, who ranked 15 on the list.

While executives are aplenty on the list, athletes on the list include Yao Ming followed by Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Serena Williams. The Cowboys' Bill Parcells was the only coach in the list's first 40, adds the release.

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