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Sky Showtime hires former Netflix executive Kai Finke

Finke has been appointed to the role of chief content officer at the Comcast-Paramount joint venture.

Finke has been appointed to the role of chief content officer at the Comcast-Paramount joint venture.

Kai Finke. (Courtesy photo)
Kai Finke. (Courtesy photo)

Kai Finke, a former Netflix executive who oversaw content development and acquisition in Europe and the Middle East, has been appointed to the role of chief content officer at Sky Showtime, the company said on Monday.

The Comcast-Paramount Global streaming joint venture said Finke will be based in Amsterdam and report directly to Sky Showtime CEO Monty Sarhan. He will oversee Sky Showtime’s programming team, to include strategy, content partnerships, merchandising and scheduling.

“Kai is a proven programming executive who brings together strong creative sensibilities with business acumen,” Sarhan said in a statement. “As we continue to expand into original programming, his wide range of experience — along with his knowledge of our markets — make him the ideal choice to lead our programming team in this next chapter of our growth.”

Jon Farrar, the Sky Showtime executive who previously oversaw programming initiatives, will leave the company after helping Finke transition into the role, which Sky Showtime said could take a few months.

“Sky Showtime continued push into local programming, in addition to the global exclusive series and movies available from Paramount and NBCUniversal, make the service hugely compelling for both audiences and the creative industries across Europe,” Finke said on Monday. “I am hugely excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Sky Showtime team that brings this amazing entertainment line-up to over 20 markets.”

Sky Showtime launched one year ago, targeting European countries where Comcast and Paramount do not offer their television services or otherwise lack strong brand recognition.

The joint venture marries the content libraries of Comcast’s NBC Universal — including Peacock, Universal Pictures, NBC, Bravo, USA Network and Dreamworks — and Paramount’s CBS, Showtime, MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures into a unified streaming service.

The service uses the same technology platform as Peacock, with both sides offering financial investments in the service.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).