McLean, based in L.A., will lead business affairs, content licensing, operations, strategy and business development. He is based in Los Angeles and reports to Evan Shapiro, the former head of Pivot TV who joined NBCU as exec VP of Digital Enterprises in December.
“Ben is an innovative leader with a strong background building content strategies for alternative platforms,” Shapiro said. “His insights and industry expertise will be key assets as we continue to build our team.”
NBCU’s Digital Enterprises is developing direct-to-consumer distribution models. The first is a comedy subscription-video service slated to debut later in 2015.
Most recently, McLean was senior VP of business affairs for Xbox Entertainment Studios, which Microsoft shut down last year. At XES he led deals for the group’s slate of programming for the subscription VOD and ad-supported VOD services on the Xbox gaming console and other Microsoft platforms. (Separately, on Wednesday, Nancy Tellem — former head of Xbox Entertainment Studios and longtime TV exec — was named chairman and chief media officer of interactive-video firm Interlude.)
Prior to Microsoft, McLean was senior VP of legal affairs and business development for Participant Media’s Pivot TV, where he led the legal and business development strategy for the launch of the new television brand. He joined Pivot from Netflix, where he was senior counsel responsible for structuring content licensing agreements for the company’s launch in Europe.
McLean also has worked in various business-affairs positions at AMC Networks and Sundance Channel. He began his career at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York.