Comcast-owned Euro broadcaster Sky has promoted Sarah Wright to the newly created role of director of Sky Cinema and acquisitions, UK and Ireland, following the recent departure of long-time Sky Cinema exec Ian Lewis.
Wright will report to Zai Bennett, managing director of content at Sky in the UK and Ireland. She will lead on all aspects of the Sky Cinema business including Sky Original films.
Wright joined Sky from UKTV in 2009 as head of acquisitions, was promoted to controller in 2012 and then to director of acquisitions in 2016. During her tenure, she has led commercial negotiations for Sky across TV and movies content including high profile deals with HBO and Showtime, as well as managing the relationships with content partners including the Hollywood studios.
Wright will continue to oversee acquisitions at Sky in the UK and Ireland, alongside her added responsibility for Sky Cinema. Sky remains one the UK’s biggest investors in movie content, largely down to its deals with U.S. studios.
Former Sky Cinema director Lewis recently left after two decades with the business. He was one of a clutch of Sky execs to move on following the Comcast acquisition.
As Lewis detailed in an interview with us last year, the division has been looking to grow its day-and-date offering via a partnership with UK distributor Altitude. Splashy Sky Cinema Original acquisitions have included Life Itself, Serenity and Zac Efron starrer Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile.
While a number of movies in the partnership, including Life Itself, Serenity and Final Score, have failed to make a mark theatrically, Sky told us that many have done well for the broadcaster in the home.
Bennett said of Wright’s promotion, “I’m delighted that Sarah has accepted this newly expanded leadership role at Sky. Sarah will be key in ensuring we maintain the quality and momentum of Sky Cinema in a diverse and ever-changing market, bringing the very best movies to our customers.”