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Eurosport hires Disney’s Melwani to new digital rights role

International sports broadcaster Eurosport has announced its recent appointment of Walt Disney Company executive Amar Melwani to the newly-created role of vice-president of distribution partnerships and rights.

Melwani (pictured) recently assumed the position as the Discovery-owned broadcaster seeks to develop its digital sports rights strategy and expand its direct-to-consumer business.

In the role, he is to establish and manage third-party distribution partnerships for Eurosport’s digital subscription offerings, working with device manufacturers, operating system platforms and other strategic distributors.

Melwani, who is based in London and reports to Paul Rehrig, general manager of Eurosport Digital, will form part of Discovery’s global direct-to-consumer operation.

Melwani has joined from the Walt Disney Company, where he managed partnerships, product marketing and analytics for the new global OTT platform, Disney+. He previously led rights acquisitions, content distribution and the direct-to-consumer business for Disney-owned sports broadcaster ESPN across the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

He joined ESPN from Sky in March 2017, having spent eight years at the UK pay-television broadcaster in several positions, including transformation manager, head of channel syndication and director of international business development.

During his time at Sky, Melwani led its international OTT development efforts, ensured an effective launch of the Sky Sports F1 channel following the acquisition of Formula 1 rights and was responsible for selling Sky’s portfolio of channels to third parties.

Prior to Sky, Melwani held roles at Deloitte and Kurt Salmon Associates as a management consultant. Two years ago, he took up a non-executive director position at the British Triathlon Federation.

Rehrig said today (Monday): “As we continue to drive our direct-to-consumer strategy forward, we are excited to welcome Amar and will greatly benefit from his experience developing world-class OTT services and building distribution and commercial businesses within sports media.”

Commenting on his new role at Eurosport, Melwani said: “The scale and depth of Eurosport’s sport portfolio, combined with a unique level of country-by-country localisation across Europe, is unrivalled anywhere and provides an outstanding foundation for delivering best-in-class direct-to-consumer offerings to customers and partners. I look forward to working closely with the Eurosport leadership team on a digital-first approach that drives further growth throughout our business.”