Hendrik McDermott

MD - EMEA Networks, Hayu & International Direct-to-Consumer, NBCUniversal

Hendrik McDermott is MD, Hayu, EMEA Networks & International Direct-To-Consumer, NBCUniversal, based in London. McDermott is a core member of the International Networks & DTC leadership team, focusing on leading Hayu and expanding NBCU’s streaming business (Peacock, Universal+) outside the US; he also leads the television Networks’ business in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA), collaborating closely with regional leaders in Latin America (LATAM) and Asia Pacific (APAC). 

Most recently MD, DTC, Global and previously, MD, Hayu, McDermott continues helming these entrepreneurial digital businesses. NBCU’s all-reality video streaming service has grown rapidly and is now available in 45 markets, having first launched in Australia, Ireland and the UK in March 2016. McDermott led the launch and expansion of the streamer that has since rolled out in the Nordics in 2017; Canada and Benelux in 2018; Hong Kong, the Philippines and Singapore in 2019; Austria and Germany in 2020; across Eastern and Western Europe in 2021 and 2022, respectively; and New Zealand in 2023. 

Before his direct-to-consumer leadership position McDermott led the global distribution and sales organisation for NBCUniversal International Networks group. Immediately prior, McDermott was Managing Director, KidsCo, the global children’s television joint venture owned by NBCUniversal and Corus Entertainment.  

McDermott began working at NBCU in 2006 where he spent six years as the founding member of the international corporate development team with responsibility for mergers & acquisitions and strategy for all territories outside the US and Canada. 

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and after relocating to the UK in 2004, McDermott completed his MBA at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. 


Speaker Spotlight... Hendrik McDermott

What makes the media and entertainment industry special?

Having the opportunity to deliver/tell great stories, coupled with the opportunity to innovate at pace, is a pretty compelling combination.


Which area of innovation excites you most and why?

I’m fascinated by all the new AI tools that are being developed because they are challenging the industry’s established norms and pushing established players to be even better, in order to stay competitive.


What do you think is the biggest challenge that the industry is facing today?

The rapidly changing landscape of content consumption means that TV/content providers must compete with ever-wider forms of entertainment – all vying for the same eyeballs.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Always strive for progress, not perfection.” I’ve never been able to dwell on one thing long enough to make it perfect. (This advice served me particularly well when pivoting my career to incorporate streaming – a journey that’s involved lots of iterating and experimentation.)


What is your current favourite TV show and why?

VEEP (which I’m catching up on, from the beginning, via NOW) because I’m a comedy fan and it’s so sharply written and laugh-out-loud funny. But on Hayu, it’s Below Deck – where the only thing deeper than the ocean is the crew’s secrets!


What would people be surprised to learn about you?

As a citizen of three countries – holding passports from Canada, the UK and Germany – I have visa-free travel to almost anywhere! (I also make a mean hot sauce.)



TV | The Bigger Picture

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