Chief Executive, Viacom UK
Michiel Bakker joined MTV before it began broadcasting in 1987 and set up MTV Europe's Amsterdam office. Appointed Senior Vice President, Network Development, Michiel then became responsible for MTV Networks Europeâ€™s pan-European distribution.
After promotion to Managing Director of MTV Networks UK and Ireland, Michiel assumed overall responsibility for all aspects of MTV and VH1 in the region, from strategy and finance through to production and programming. Today, Michiel combines his UK role with responsibility for MTV's channels in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, as well as the UK Paramount Comedy Channels. Michiel also sits on the board of Nickelodeon.
During his tenure in the UK, he has steered the network through some of the key developments in multichannel TV, with the music portfolio now standing at eight unique and distinctive MTV and VH1 branded channels, as well as TMF, one of only two music channels on Freeview. The channels lead the highly competitive music TV market, regularly out-rating their competitors by a ratio of 2:1.
Michiel was also responsible for the establishment of MTV Networks UK's ad sales arm, Viacom Brand Solutions, in 2000 after the successful bid to win the sales business for both Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy Channel. VBS has since added E! entertainment to its sales offer and continues to lead the field in providing innovative, creative and impactful marketing solutions.
In recent years, Michiel has spearheaded a drive towards investing in UK programming resulting in locally-produced hit shows, from cult smash Dirty Sanchez, and UK Pimp My Ride to Totally Scott-Lee and 1LSQ with Russell Brand.
With such strong programmes alongside unrivaled music and comedy content, the network is in a unique position find fresh and innovative ways to engage with its audience. Having already established leading mobile services on most major networks, a vibrant online community, and award-winning interactive programming, the company is committed to being a pioneer in the digital space. With the creation of Viacom UK to reflect the companyâ€™s strength in the UK creative industry, 2007 promises to be another exciting year.