Kai Finke

Source: SkyShowtime

Kai Finke

Former Netflix buyer Kai Finke has landed a senior role at burgeoning European streamer SkyShowtime, with programming chief Jon Farrar set to depart.

Finke, who left Netflix earlier this year, has been appointed chief content officer at the Comcast-Paramount joint venture SVoD platform.

He takes up the role after Farrar, who was appointed head of programming last year, decided to leave following a transition over the coming months.

Finke will oversee the nascent streamer’s content operations as it begins to branch out into original programming, holding responsibility for programming strategy including third-party acquisitions and original acquisitions and commissioning aspirations.

He will be based in Amsterdam, reporting into SkyShowtime chief exec Monty Sarhan.

His appointment comes as the streamer beds into the European market. The streamer completed its rollout to 22 European countries in February including Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovonia, Croatia, Albania, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia among others.

Broadcast then revealed in March it had begun early conversations with producers about developing original programming as well as setting local content directors Fredrik Ljungberg and Robin Logjes in Scandinavia and Holland, respectively.

London-based Sarhan bolstered his local team through the appointment of Netflix and Disney execs Anazia Budhwar and Hristina Georgieva.

Prior to joining SkyShowtime, Finke was Netflix’s EMEA-based director of content across multiple European markets. He has previously in production, international distribution, and acquisitions for more than two decades.

This year, SkyShowtime will have launched 10 original series including Bosé, Codename: Annika, Fleeting Lies, Poker Face, The Invisible Ladies, The Winner, and Warszawianka.

Finke will aim to build on this success through new projects and acquisitions.

Sarhan said: “Kai is a proven programming executive who brings together strong creative sensibilities with business acumen. As we continue to expand into original programming, his wide range of experience – along with his knowledge of our markets – make him the ideal choice to lead our programming team in this next chapter of our growth.”

Finke added: “SkyShowtime’s continued push into local programming, in addition to the global exclusive series and movies available from Paramount and NBCUniversal, make the service hugely compelling for both audiences and the creative industries across Europe.”

This story first appeared on Screen’s sister site Broadcast.