SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan today announced three key senior appointments to the company’s growing executive leadership team. The announcement comes as the new streaming service prepares for launch, which is planned to begin later this year and then roll out across more than 20 European markets.
SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan said: “A company’s greatest resource is its people and one of my top priorities has been to recruit individuals with a record of proven leadership to join SkyShowtime. These three talented individuals are all accomplished leaders who put people first—from our subscribers to our teammates—and I am proud that they will be joining us as we build the next great streaming service for Europe.”
The following individuals will be joining SkyShowtime’s leadership team:
Jon Farrar has been named Head of Programming. He joins SkyShowtime from BBC Studios, where he led their direct-to-consumer programming strategy in his dual role as Global VOD Director and Editor-in-Chief of BBC Select, the BBC’s first-ever branded SVOD service in North America. He was also part of the team that developed BritBox, the streaming joint venture between BBC Studios and ITV. Reporting to Sarhan, Farrar will be responsible for programming strategy, overseeing the service’s top-quality pipeline of partner studio content, and building a world-class programming team across SkyShowtime’s markets to develop original and local content. Farrar will also lead the acquisitions, scheduling and editorial, and content operations functions.
Farrar said: “I am so thrilled to be taking up this role which, for a fan of great programmes, is the most exciting job in European streaming. I cannot wait to start working with Monty and the team on how we take a unique approach to bring SkyShowtime, with its brilliant content pipeline, to audiences across the continent.”
Raquel Berzosa has been appointed as Regional General Manager for Iberia. Berzosa will be responsible for expanding SkyShowtime in Spain and Portugal, building, and leading the regional distribution and partnerships group, and overseeing marketing and content across Iberia. She joins from NBCUniversal International Networks & DTC, where she was Vice President, Affiliate Sales & Country Lead, Iberia. Berzosa has a long track record working in the entertainment industry and has extensive experience negotiating with partners in Spain and Portugal, including launching the Universal+ on demand service, which is currently available on three of the four main platforms in Spain. Based in Madrid, Berzosa will also report to Sarhan. With Berzosa’s appointment, SkyShowtime’s regional leadership team is now complete. She joins Gabor Harsanyi and Henriette Petersen, Regional General Managers for Central Eastern Europe and North Europe, respectively.
Berzosa stated: “This role is a dream come true for someone who is as passionate about entertainment as I am. I am thrilled to be joining Monty’s leadership team. The interest from distributors has been overwhelming and I look forward to bringing SkyShowtime’s amazing content to our audiences in Spain and Portugal.”
Richard Thurston joins SkyShowtime as Chief Human Resources Officer. Thurston will lead the HR team and support the leadership team in building an inclusive, thriving culture. Thurston joins the team after 10 years at Sky where he held several leadership roles, including his most recent Group role as HR Director and was instrumental in shaping Sky’s Group operating model. Before joining Sky, Thurston worked for the BBC as HR Director of the BBC News Group supporting teams across the globe and prior to this he spent 7 years at ITV. Thurston will report to Sarhan.
Thurston said: “I was fortunate enough to have been involved in laying the foundations of SkyShowtime since inception, so the opportunity to continue to be part of the journey of this unique business as it grows and connects to customers is hugely exciting. I am passionate about creating inclusive, supportive environments, where people can be themselves, innovate and grow. I look forward to working with the rest of the leadership team and welcoming great talent to SkyShowtime.”
Sarhan added: “With their passion for our content and commitment to our mission, Jon, Raquel and Richard will be instrumental as we prepare our roll out across Europe. I look forward to working with them.”
SkyShowtime will feature the best curated entertainment from some of the world’s greatest and most prolific studios and storytellers including television premieres of first-run theatrical films from Paramount and Universal; new scripted series from Showtime, Paramount+, Sky Studios and Peacock; local original programming; kids and family programming from Nickelodeon, DreamWorks and Illumination; and a rich library offering across all genres.
SkyShowtime will ultimately be available in the following markets: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
Further details on SkyShowtime will be announced soon.
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SkyShowtime is a new streaming service that will launch later this year.
A joint venture of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Paramount Global (NASDAQ: PARA, PARAA), SkyShowtime brings together the combined resources of both companies, direct-to-consumer experience, and the very best entertainment, movies, and original series from the iconic brands of Universal Pictures, DreamWorks, Sky Studios, Peacock, Paramount +, Showtime, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon.
SkyShowtime will be available in more than 20 European markets encompassing 90 million homes. It will be offered in Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. Across six countries, Sky connects 23 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.
Following the launch of Sky Glass, we now offer customers our strongest ever line-up of products and services. As well as the new streaming TV with Sky inside and everything integrated, customers can enjoy the award-winning Sky Q with all your favourite channels and apps in one place, and with Sky Go you can now access an even better experience on your devices. Sky TV has new channels, new shows and new deals with Peacock, Paramount+ and more. Sky Mobile was voted Best Pay Monthly and Best Value Pay Monthly network by Uswitch, and with Sky Broadband we’re offering our fastest speeds yet.
Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free; Sky Arts is the UKs only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Sky Cinema is the home of Sky Original films with brand new films launching every month alongside an unrivalled range of the latest cinema releases and on demand library.
We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity, and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation. We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over the next three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.