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 pipeline of partner studio content, and building a 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.
Raquel Berzosa?has been appointed 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 VP, 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.
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 seven years at ITV. Thurston will report to Sarhan.
Commenting on the appointments, 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”.
He 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 curated entertainment from 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 library offering across all genres.
It will ultimately be available 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.??