Tuesday, August 09, 2022

SkyShowtime Adds Roberto Soto, John Heinemann Ahead of European Expansion

Comcast/Paramount joint-venture streamer SkyShowtime has added former HBO Max and Disney executives to its leadership team.

Roberto Soto

Roberto Soto, who as former senior VP and head of growth marketing for EMEA at HBO Max and responsible for the streamer’s recent European launches, has joined as chief strategy officer.

The newly created role will see Soto lead the development and execution of SkyShowtime’s strategy, working with all teams across the organisation. Based in Amsterdam, he will report directly to SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan.

Prior to joining HBO Max, Soto held senior roles leading growth marketing, product, business development, strategy and distribution at Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS), Fox International Channels and Liberty Global. He has also worked at streaming start-ups Mubi and Tribes Media.

John Heinemann, a lawyer who negotiated the distribution of Disney+ in key European markets whilst at The Walt Disney Company (TWDC), has joined as general counsel.

Heinemann, who spent five-years at TWDC, was most recently associate principal counsel for the Nordics, the Baltics and MENA. During his tenure at Disney, Heinemann was part of the team that launched Disney+ internationally, negotiating multi-year agreements across Europe and MENA.

Reporting to Sarhan, Heinemann will serve as the chief legal officer of the company. Prior to Disney, he worked at Fox Network Groups, BBC Studios and Viasat Broadcasting.

The two execs will join the company later this year. SkyShowtime said the appointments strengthen its leadership team ahead of its imminent launches across 22 European markets such as Iberia, the Nordics, Netherlands, Poland, and Central and Eastern Europe, beginning later this year.

A joint venture of Comcast and Paramount Global, SkyShowtime will combine direct-to-consumer products from both, including original series from brands such as Universal, Paramount, Sky, Showtime, DreamWorks and Nickelodeon.

SkyShowtime will be available to over 90 million homes across the following European countries: 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.

Sarhan said: “Roberto’s diverse experience across entertainment and sports streaming services, including multiple launches throughout Europe, make him uniquely positioned to help define our company’s strategy and drive its execution across the organisation. He will be instrumental in making SkyShowtime the next great streaming service for Europe.”

“In addition to his formidable legal skills, John also brings business acumen and a strategic mindset. He knows our markets and he understands what is required to launch a successful streaming service. I know he will be a trusted advisor to the entire leadership team. I look forward to working closely with him.”

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Original source: C21 Media.

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