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Virgin gets TV boost with Sky veteran hire

Virgin Media has named former Sky Italia programming chief and JimJam founder David Bouchier as its chief digital entertainment officer.

The UK-based pay TV operator has tasked Bouchier with leading its content, programming and digital entertainment teams in a bid to “further develop” its television offering.

Virgin Media is currently locked in a battle for UK pay TV subscribers with market leader Sky, where Bouchier previously worked, and BT, which is making waves by securing exclusive content such as Fear the Walking Dead and live Premier League football.

Bouchier’s previous roles include senior posts at satellite broadcaster BSkyB and managing director, programming at Sky Italia. At the UK business he oversaw Sky’s investment in the German pay market, a business that now sits alongside the British and Italian businesses in the enlarged Sky stable.

He also launched preschool channel JimJam, which has gone on to air around the world and now sits within the AMC Networks International stable following its acquisition of Chello Media.

Stephane David, Virgin Media’s executive director, content and Scott Kewley, director of digital entertainment now report into Bouchier.

Tom Mockridge, Virgin Media’s CEO, said: “I am delighted we have secured an executive of David’s calibre to lead our digital entertainment business.

“His depth of experience will help us develop the true potential of the award winning TV and entertainment services offered by Virgin Media.”

“Our industry is evolving at an unbelievable pace as our viewers demand more and more innovation from us,” added Bouchier. “Virgin Media is the network of choice for the next generation, because it matches the speed of their lifestyle.”