C4 poaches sports head from BSkyB

Channel 4 has raided BSkyB’s sports department for a controller to lead the network’s coverage of cricket, which it wrested from the BBC earlier this month.

The network has appointed Mark Sharman to the newly-created role of controller of sport. He is currently deputy head of Sky sports.

Sharman replaces the network’s commissioning editor of sport Mike Miller, who left in September to become BBC controller of sport.

Sharman has worked on a range of TV sports programmes since 1978. At Sky, where he did a four-year stint, he oversaw a range of sports including its test cricket coverage. He is expected to take up his post before the end of the year.

His role will be to oversee Channel 4’s sports coverage on the main network as well as its multi-channel TV services.

Sharman says: “There are exciting things happening on the channel’s terrestrial and digital output. Naturally, establishing Channel 4’s cricket coverage will be the first major task.”

Channel 4 deputy director of programmes Karen Brown says: “The fact that we have managed to attract an executive of Mark’s calibre and production experience to Channel 4 says everything about our new sporting agenda.”

Channel 4 secured home test cricket matches in a deal with Sky worth 103m over four years. Channel 4 has pledged to spend a further 13m marketing and promoting the game.

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