LONDON -- Brian Sullivan is to step down on June 24 as chief executive of German-language pay TV service Sky Deutschland. Carsten Schmidt, Sky Deutschland’s chief officer sports, advertising sales and Internet, will take over as topper.Schmidt takes on the new role of deputy chief executive with immediate effect and will work alongside Sullivan before taking over as chief exec. Schmidt has served on Sky Deutschland’s management board since 2006, after joining the company in 1999. In his current position,...
As part of his efforts to generate growth and lure more subscribers to Sky (5 million as of July) in the face of increasing competition, Schmidt announced plans in 2016 to invest €100 million in in-house production with the aim of financing up to eight new series.
Among the pay TV company’s new shows is a sequel to Wolfgang Petersen’s 1981 epic war film and miniseries “Das Boot,” based on the novels of Lothar-Günther Buchheim, and “Babylon Berlin,” a historical crime drama set in 1920s Berlin. Sky is partnering with Bavaria Film on the former and ARD, X Filme and Beta Film on the latter.
Prior to taking over as CEO, Schmidt served in a number of positions at the group, including chief officer of sports, advertising sales and Internet at Sky Deutschland as well as managing director of programming at Sky Austria. Among his accomplishments at Sky was the creation of Sky Sport News HD, Germany’s only 24/7 sports news channel. He also intensified the the company’s relations with the DFL.
Before joining Sky, Schmidt was a managing director at WIGE Media, one of Europe’s leading sports media providers, where he oversaw the marketing and television division for four years.