Lionsgate company Starz Adds Darren Nielson and Jeff Cooke as Vice Presidents for the International Digital Networks Team
Starz, a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), recently added Darren Nielson as Senior Vice President of Distribution and Business Development and Jeff Cooke as Vice President of Programming to the International Digital Networks team led by Executive Vice President Superna Kalle.
“Darren and Jeff bring a wealth of global acumen and skill to this international team at a time of significant growth for our company and our brand,” said Kalle. “I look forward to exploring new opportunities around the world for our content across digital and linear platforms with them on board.”
Based in the company’s Santa Monica office, Nielson will lead the distribution and business development for the Starz-branded digital and linear services and channels, working closely with Kalle to develop expansion strategies, identify and evaluate partner opportunities, and source and negotiate distribution agreements with in-territory partners.
Prior to joining Starz, Nielson served as director of content acquisition at Netflix, helping grow the service from a domestic DVD business into a global leader in streaming video. Nielson was instrumental in launching and building Netflix across Europe and Asia and managed global licensing relationships with major studios and local partners across both film and TV series. Prior to Netflix, Nielson held business development positions at Sony Pictures Television and Ascent Media. Nielson holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
Jeff Cooke preferredAs Vice President of Programming, Cooke will oversee programming for the international expansion of the Starz direct-to-consumer subscription service to new global markets. He will define and implement the content strategies across all international territories and identify key programming initiatives through data insights and analytics. Also based in the Santa Monica office, Cooke will curate content that defines the Starz brand in each region and capitalize on global trends and strategies. Cooke will continue to work with London-based Brett Marottoli, Head of Program Acquisitions, to identify and acquire additional content for the STARZPLAY platform.
Cooke recently served as Vice President of Global Digital at Lionsgate. Prior to Lionsgate, he held positions at Miramax and MGM. Cooke earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma.
Starz, a Lionsgate company (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), is a leading global media and entertainment company that provides premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television networks and produces and distributes content for worldwide audiences, including its investment in the STARZ PLAY Arabia OTT service. Starz is home to the flagship STARZ® brand and STARZ ENCORE channels and provides high-quality, entertaining premium subscription video programming with 17 premium pay TV channels and associated on-demand and online services, including the STARZ app. Sold through U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, telecommunications companies, and other online and digital platforms, Starz offers subscribers more than 5,000 distinct premium television episodes and feature films every year and up to 1,500 every month, including STARZ Original series, first-run movies and other popular movie and television programming.