Vasilis Iliopoulos (pictured, right) will expand his role to become senior vice president for FNG Africa, while maintaining his position as general manager of Fox Networks Greece. Evert van der Veer (pictured, left), who has been hired from regional streaming service iFlix, has been named FNG Africa’s new general manager. Both moves are effective immediately.
FNG’s executive vice president of Europe and Africa, Adam Theiler, said the moves “will prove instrumental in our continued expansion into sub-Saharan Africa.”
FNG runs 154 channels and digital services out of 25 offices across Europe and Africa. Last year it began rolling out its Fox+ on-demand service, offering 21st Century Fox content such as “How I Met Your Mother” and “Prison Break” in several European countries and via Cell C in South Africa.
Iliopoulos will focus on the accelerated expansion across Africa of Fox Sports and local content production. He will also oversee the expansion of linear and non-linear branded entertainment and National Geographic Partners. Since joining Fox in 2011, Iliopoulos has been key to the development of sports programming such as FNG Africa’s West African Football Tournament and Fox Sports Africa Boxing.
“Vasilis is a leader in the truest sense of the word and enjoys the respect and admiration of team members and clients alike in every market he has tackled,” Theiler said.
Van der Veer previously worked as head of content for Africa and the Middle East for iFlix, the Asia-based streamer. The former Viacom Africa exec served as V.P. for Comedy Central and was instrumental in the launch of BET on the continent in 2015.
“Evert is a consummate media professional, who is a fixture in the Johannesburg media scene, and a content expert committed to the future of media across the African continent,” Theiler said.
Van der Veer replaces Gary Alfonso, who stepped down in March after serving nearly two years as general manager of Fox Africa. When Alfonso arrived in August 2016, he was the group’s third boss in an 18-month span. Tasked with stabilizing the business after a five-month vacuum with no managing director, the former CNBC Africa exec oversaw appointments in key management positions as Fox Africa more than doubled its local staff.
Earlier this year, FNG launched the National Geographic+ on-demand service, which provides exclusive access to the NatGeo catalogue, including new scripted programs like “Mars,” “The Long Road Home,” and “Genius.” Through partnerships with Cell C, YouSee, and the OTE Group for inclusion in Cosmote TV, the service has launched in South Africa, Denmark and Greece, with further deals to be announced this year.