Sky Studios hires BBCS alum Tobi de Graaff to lead co-pro & NBCU distribution partnerships

Tobi de Graaff

Sky Studios has appointed former BBC Studios (BBCS) exec Tobi de Graaff to the new role of SVP commercial.

Reporting to COO Caroline Cooper, de Graaff will be responsible for Sky Studios’ commercial and co-production partnerships, including with NBCUniversal Global Distribution.

He will work closely with editorial and commissioning teams across Europe, and also oversee the international scripted team, headed up by Jason Simms, as well as LA-based SVP, Rebecca Segal, who will report to de Graaff when he joins in July.

De Graaff joins Sky Studios from Beiboot Representation, the development, packaging and financing firm that he founded in 2020. The joint venture, launched in partnership with Sebastien Raybaud’s production and financing company Anton, is focused on high-end European produced content and looks to partner with creators, producers, broadcasters, platforms and distributors on the development and packaging of projects.

Prior to launcing Beiboot, De Graaff joined BBCS (then known as BBC Worldwide) in 2014 as EVP of western Europe, where he led TV distribution, production and channels. He was promoted to director of commissioning and co-production in 2017, with a focus on partnering with producers to determine funding strategies and execute global sales plans and where he led distribution and strategy for titles such as DraculaSomewhere Boy and Inside Man.

Before BBCS, de Graaf was director of global TV distribution for ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

“Tobi is an excellent fit for Sky Studios. His proven track record, broad experience of scripted and unscripted content and his strong relationships across the industry will help us deliver on our goal to deliver unmissable Sky Original content on a global scale,” said Cooper in a memo to staff announcing de Graaff’s appointment.

Speaking at Series Mania last month, Sky Studios’ director of original drama Meghan Lyvers said that the company is looking to deficit finance more scripted projects without a US partner, as the current Stateside streaming commissioning pull-back impacts upon business across Europe.

The European operator has previously tended to secure US partners on its high-cost dramas ahead of commission, with the likes of AMC joining Sky’s Gangs Of London and Comcast sibling Peacock joining the remake of Day Of The Jackal revealed last year.

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