SUsanna Dinnage is one of the most experienced female executives on British television with over twenty years of experience. Over the last 10 years she has worked at the American pay giant Discovery, owner of the Eurosport brand, where she played the role of global chairman of her Animal Planet brand in the past year.
Dinnage, a Fulham fan, was based in the UK and was responsible for the operation of Discovery UK & Ireland. The 51-year-old will not be put off by the three-yearly, £ 5 billion auction for Premier League TV rights that have had experience, albeit not directly, in negotiations on crown jewelery assets.
During her time at Discovery, she considered making a daring attempt to break Sky's stranglehold on Premier League football rights. It saw a potential switch to the market after a fast-track deal to gain full control over Eurosport. In 2015, Discovery made a surprise of £ 1 billion for exclusive pan-European rights to the Olympics, with a sub-licensing agreement with the BBC in the UK.
It will also be well positioned with a stance on how the Premier League is increasingly looking at the best way to bundle Premier League rights for the digital age, as Discovery has expanded its activities to develop the Eurosport player into all of Europe. The Premier League was not considered hugely successful in its attempt to offer for the first time several packages with live streaming in its latest auction – designed to lure new bidders in the shape of the deeply seized Silicon Valley giants – with Amazon let one of the packages pick up.
Last year Dinnage missed the appointment as a top player on Channel 4, interrupted by Alex Mahon. She started her career at MTV before joining the team that launched Channel 5 in 1997, where she stayed for more than a decade with a number of senior roles.
She joined Discovery in 2009 and led the launch of several channels, including the female focused TLC.
No stranger to a hard negotiation Dinnage was part of the Discovery team that, in a bitter battle, took Sky over the costs it earned in exchange for the transport of its 12 channels on the pay-TV service. The company threatened the unusual step of a channel outage, but a deal was reached on the eleventh hour before the switch-off time.
Dinnage has also gained a lot of experience in dealing with the government about the impact of Brexit on British broadcasters as chairman of Coba, the Association Commercial Broadcasters.