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Prud’homme takes helm at Discovery France after Bergeaud exit

Laurent Prud’homme, senior vice-president of rights acquisitions and syndication at Eurosport, the Discovery-owned sports broadcaster, has been named as the new senior vice-president, general manager at Discovery France.

The appointment follows on from the move by Julien Bergeaud, Discovery’s incumbent general manger of operations in France, to lead the Mediapro agency’s new French pay-TV service.

Prud’homme will report to Kasia Kieli, Discovery’s president and managing director in EMEA, and will be in charge of Discovery’s strategy in France and development of commercial activities.

Discovery said that he has been tasked with “strengthening and developing the Discovery channel portfolio, including making Eurosport the destination of choice for sports enthusiasts”. He will be responsible for new distribution agreements and “partnerships for linear and OTT, thus developing new opportunities in a market that is in full evolution and highly competitive”.

Given the impending exit of Bergeaud and the departures last year of Arnaud Simon and Géraldine Filiol, Prud’homme is one of the few remaining ‘old guard’ in leading positions since Discovery bought Eurosport.

Amid the management shake-up that led to Simon and Filiol exiting, Prud’homme took on the additional responsibility for IOC and media services, plus the management of Eurosport Events on an interim basis.

He joined Eurosport in 2001 from pay-TV broadcaster Canal Plus in a role handling programming and acquisitions for Eurosport France. Between October 2009 and January 2011, Prud’homme was deputy director of acquisitions at TF1, the free-to-air broadcaster that previously owned Eurosport.

Sports rights properties held by Eurosport France include the ATP Tour (from 2019 to 2023), winter sports, major cycling races and the Olympic Games. However, the broadcaster has lost rights to motorcycling and French rugby union’s Pro D2 from next season.

On the new role for Prud’homme, Kieli said today: “Laurent is a recognised leader in the sport’s world in France and internationally and I am very happy that he has accepted to take on new challenges by continuing the growth of Discovery France in this period of transformation for the French market. He joins a very strong and talented team in a thriving pay-TV business.”

Bergeaud became general manager of Discovery France four years ago and has additionally advised the media group on sports rights opportunities and business plans in Southern Europe.

He joined Eurosport in 1999 and initially worked in television rights sales, before becoming director of rights sales and acquisitions. In 2010, he switched to the position of director of broadcasting and programmes and was named director of development in the summer of 2013.