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Frances Manfredi has a new role at NBCUniversal.
The executive, who has spent the past eight years overseeing TV and film distribution, is moving over to the company’s streaming service, Peacock, as president of content acquisition and strategy.
Manfredi — who led the auction for library rights to The Office — will begin her new role in January and lead Peacock’s licensing and acquisition strategy. She will work closely with head of originals Bill McGoldrick in the role but report to recently installed Peacock chairman Matt Strauss.
Manfredi’s position highlights the increasingly valuable role that library titles play in the streaming era. NBCUniversal in June paid $500 million to regain domestic streaming rights to The Office amid fierce competition from a number of other outlets, including Netflix, where the Universal TV-produced comedy was one of its most watched acquired titles. Manfredi oversaw that process at a time when profit participants on streaming hits like The Office and Friends monitor the deals to ensure they aren’t shortchanged by studios looking to give their upstart platforms a boost instead of taking the best offer.
In her former role, Manfredi oversaw TV and film distribution to basic and pay cable platforms as well as SVOD services in the U.S. and Canada for NBCU. During her tenure, she shaped the landscape of content distribution by combining traditional and new media platform monetization to maximize value across all content genres.
In her career, the streaming rights pioneer spearheaded the first-ever major studio deal with Netflix in 2006 and worked on Hulu’s multiple-year licensing deal that covered shows such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Additionally, she has overseen off-network sales of shows that include 30 Rock, The Office and Law & Order while forging groundbreaking deals like NBCU and American Airlines and Universal Pictures’ pact with HBO.
Manfredi has been with NBCU for nearly two decades and has worked in its domestic TV distribution and cable sales divisions. She held similar roles at CBS from 1995 to 2000.
Peacock is slated to launch in April and will be free to current Comcast customers. The ad-supported platform will debut with more than 15,000 hours of content, including the exclusive rights to The Office and Parks and Recreation and shared titles like Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock and Friday Night Lights on top of scripted and unscripted originals.
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