Sports deal maker Ian Frykberg passes away

Tributes have been paid to one of Australia’s most influential sports rights agents Ian Frykberg, who died in Sydney on Sunday aged 68.

The well respected former Nine journalist turned agent Frykberg died surrounded by his family yesterday morning at St Vincents hospital.

“Ian Frykberg was a giant in our industry, literally and figuratively”, said David Gyngell, CEO of Nine. “Frykers was a big guy who saw the big picture. He loved his family, loved a good time, loved a beer and loved doing deals.

“He was without question the best facilitator of a bigtime sports deal any of us has ever seen. For that brilliance alone, we are all in his debt. We will miss him.”

Frykberg was a former political reporter who helped Nine launch the Today show, Sunday and Business Sunday, and later became head of sport at the TV network.

He was later crucial to the formation of the Super Rugby competition, and was heavily involved in many of the most of the recent Olympics media deals. He was also involved in the 2011 AFL rights negotiation and helped re-establishment of Fox Footy on Fox Sports in 2012.

Fox Sports CEO Patrick Delany said he was a valued consultant to Foxtel, Fox Sports and News Corp Australia for many years.

“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,” said Delany.

“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.”

Frykberg was visited in hospital in his final days by a number of former colleagues, including Nine’s Gyngell, former News Limited and Foxtel boss Kim Williams, and former Seven boss David Leckie.

Nic Christensen 


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