A Comcast SVP gives the scoop on sales

Cheryl McDermott, SVP of business operations at Comcast International Media Group, talks about international deals and surprising successes.
September 22, 2008

Comcast International Media Group, a division of US media conglomerate Comcast Corporation, manages the sale and distribution of Comcast’s programming assets outside the US. Said assets include E! Entertainment Television, The Style Network, G4, The Golf Channel and Versus. Comcast programming is currently seen in over 160 countries and reaches over 600 million homes daily. Revealing how CIMG keeps this business flowing smoothly is SVP of business operations, Cheryl McDermott.

What are some of the territories CIMG has most recently penetrated with Comcast’s programming?
Just last week we announced the upcoming launch of a Korean-language version of E! Entertainment Television on SBS in Korea.

Any surprising success with a certain show/genre that’s doing well in a country you may not have predicted?
Latin America is always a bit of a surprise. You have some very traditionally conservative countries and viewers and yet programs like Girls of the Playboy Mansion, Wild On and Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood have done very well on the E! Latin America channel. So I always hold my breath a little bit when we first schedule a new series there.

How close is your relationship with local broadcasters once you sell your programming to them?
We pride ourselves on providing excellent client service so we continually strive to maintain close ties on all levels, from sales through the admin functions into technical areas. We never turn our back and just move on after a sale. We are here for those broadcasters ‘cradle to grave’ on our deals.

What are some of the next territories that you’d like to move into with Comcast’s programming?
Asia certainly remains an area of interest for us, but with so many great brands to offer, the ultimate goal is to put all those brands into every corner of the globe.

How do you manage your time each day to make sure you accomplish everything on your to-do list?
I am not unique in struggling with the demands of an exploding business in a global environment. It’s a breakneck pace most days, so I try very hard to focus on completing one task at a time while remembering that what you don’t get done today sometimes is better completed through the viewpoint and experience that tomorrow will bring.

Do you have a business principle/mantra that guides you in how you approach making business deals and decisions?
Keep perspective about the job you are doing, and always remember there are real people involved. Also, I believe striving for the win/win has intrinsic value.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.