Another Facebook sports hire as Beer joins from NBCUniversal
Social networking giant Facebook has made another key sports appointment by recruiting Rhys Beer from NBCUniversal International, the US-based media group.
His arrival in a London-based role heading up live sports partnerships and programming in Europe, the Middle East and Africa comes hot on the heels of Facebook’s hiring of Peter Hutton as its director of global live sports partnerships and as head of global sports partnerships Dan Reed continues to strengthen the sports broadcast team.
Beer announced the news this morning via a Facebook post, saying: “Great to be checking in on Facebook, at Facebook. Fascinating and inspiring 1st week in new role in which I'll be leading Facebook's live sports partnerships and programming initiatives in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
“Thanks for your belief and trust Dan Reed, Jerry [Newman, head of sports partnership, EMEA], Peter, Devi [Mahadevia, head of live sports programming US] and team - I couldn't be more thrilled to be joining you all at such an exciting time.”
Facebook last year conducted a lengthy search for a top executive to acquire sports broadcast rights, turning to Hutton in an appointment announced in March this year. Facebook last year made an unsuccessful $600-million bid for digital rights to cricket’s Indian Premier League across five years, and has been in the mix for some premium soccer rights.
Beer is leaving his London-based position at NBCUniversal after nearly five years.
He has been responsible for NBCUniversal’s sports interests outside of North America in a role that entailed distribution, channel development, rights and strategy. Beer joined NBCUniversal from a position as commercial director at Perform, the international digital sports media group.
Before arriving at Perform in 2009, Beer was senior product manger, sport at Virgin Media. He also counts Setanta Sports and England's Football Association as former employers.