NBCUniversal rejigs EMEA business

Lee Raftery

NBCUniversal has rejigged its EMEA business, following through on plans to transition the business’s pay-TV channels in the UK and Germany under the Sky portfolio. 

First unveiled in April, the new structure sees the departure of Leonor Grandsire, MD of networks for Southern Europe, and the appointment of Lee Raftery, who led the creation of NBCU streamer Hayu, as MD for EMEA, excluding the UK, Germany and Italy.

The London-based Raftery — who previously served as MD for the UK, Africa & Middle East, as well as chief marketing and content officer for international — will report into Kevin MacLellan, chairman of global distribution and international for NBCUniversal, who assumes the post on 1 July.

In the newly created role, Raftery will lead the consolidation of a realigned EMEA Networks’ business into a single operation that incorporates pay-TV channels across Europe, Middle East and Africa, excluding the Sky territories of UK, Germany and Italy.

He will be supported by an integrated management team across London, Paris and Madrid with a focus on building an integrated EMEA Networks group.

Raftery has worked for Comcast for 11 years, based in both London and Los Angeles.

Moving on from a structure that featured three regional European groups, the newly combined EMEA Networks group will comprise 17 channels feeds across NBCU’s portfolio of seven brands.

In addition to his new remit, Raftery will continue to serve as chief marketing officer for NBCU International, as well as a member of the Promax Board of Directors.

As a result of the changes, the realigned NBCUniversal EMEA business under Raftery’s leadership is to relocate to Sky’s Osterley campus outside London.

MacLellan said: “I am delighted that Lee will be able to deploy his exemplary skills to the leadership of our EMEA business.  I am also incredibly grateful for Leonor’s extraordinary contribution to the success of the company over the years.  With our newly aligned EMEA Networks business, we are strongly positioned in a rapidly evolving pay-TV landscape to optimize our expertise, efficiencies and opportunities for future growth.”

Raftery added: “I believe that combining our EMEA Networks will maximize the growth potential of our channels and brands for years ahead.  The power of these great platforms, expertly overseen by a talented team across multiple locations, will continue to deliver the best quality, value and entertainment for our audiences.”

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