Restructuring, including people losing their jobs, is coming for the TV channels of NBCUniversal International (NBCUNI) seen in Africa like E! Entertainment (DStv 124), Universal TV (DStv 117), and Studio Universal (DStv 112) as NBCUI's pay-TV division must move to Sky's pay-TV headquarters at Osterley in London in the United Kingdom.
After Comcast's acquisition of Sky, part of the restructuring includes several organisational changes including to NBCUniversal International Networks for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with Jeremy Darroch, Sky CEO, on Friday writing to staffers in an email that the restructuring is part of plans to "grow our audiences and bring our customers even better content" while working "more effectively and efficiently with our new colleagues".
Senior executives are expected to be a part of the staff that will be let go in the creation of NBCUniversal International's new channels business division for the region as NBCUI and Sky consolidate and integrate their programming departments.
NBCUI last restructured its distribution and network operations for the EMEA region in 2015.
"The first proposed change we have announced today is to combine NBCU's pay-TV channels with our own, basing them on our campus in Osterley. The second is to move NBCU's Europe, Middle East and Africa networks' London-based team to the same location," Jeremy Darroch told staff.
"In Germany, Sky will become the parent company of NBCU's Networks business and we plan to explore ways for both businesses to work more closely together, including possible co-location to Unterföhring."
"Finally, we are proposing that Sky's content sales and distribution activities, currently managed by Sky Vision, be operated by NBCU's Global Distribution business. We recognise that these proposals could have an impact on some of our colleagues within Sky and NBCU and, as always, they will be fully supported through these changes."
Kevin MacLellan, NBCU's chairman of global distribution and international, said in an email to staff that "Each of these proposals is the result of careful consideration from both NBCUniversal and Sky," admitting to it being a "difficult time" for some NBCU and Sky staffers.
"Affected employees are being spoken to in person today and will be fully supported with care, fairness and transparency over the coming weeks and months. Thank you for your sensitivity and support of your colleagues during this consultation period."
As part of the restructuring Sky Vision's 6 500 hours of programming will also be added to the catalogue of NBCUniversal International Distribution.
This division is responsible for sales of all TV and digital programming outside of North America for NBCUniversal with more than 120 000 TV episodes and over 4 000 movies as part of its catalogue.