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Viasat taps ITV Studios for formats development exec

Viasat Broadcasting has poached ITV Studios Global Entertainment’s VP of format sales to take on a new role at the MTG-owned broadcasting group.

Merrily Ross has joined former ITV colleague Daniela Neumann, Viasat’s VP of content and development, in the new role of VP of formats.

Ross will seek to accelerate the sourcing of UK and international programme ideas for Viasat’s 32 free-TV entertainment channels across Europe. She reports into Neumann, who joined Viasat from ITV in 2011 to lead a new content development unit.

Neumann said: “We are stepping up our search for more new programme ideas for our channels, by extending our relationships and working even closer with both established and new UK and international content producers. Our aim is to source even more original formats and entertainment shows that are still at the development stage.

“The main free-TV channels in each country are broad based entertainment channels, and we are keen to licence new formats and open a number of new markets to content from both UK and international producers. We are also investing in co-financing strong scripted series that can work across our markets.”

Ross previously held roles at UK public broadcaster the BBC and commercial channel Channel 5.