Monty Sarhan is the Executive Vice President of Programming, Acquisitions, Strategy and Enterprises for EPIX, a premium television network that is a joint venture of Viacom, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and MGM. As head of the programming department, Sarhan has P&L responsibility for EPIX’s programming budget, is responsible for the network’s overall programming strategy, and manages the network’s program planning, scheduling, and acquisitions teams. He also oversees business affairs for programming deals and works closely with Viacom Media Networks‘ Content Distribution team on EPIX’s multi-platform distribution deals (MVPD & OTT).
Part of the original team that launched EPIX in 2009, Sarhan is a member of the executive committee and reports directly to President & CEO Mark Greenberg. Since its launch, EPIX has grown to nearly 10 million subscribers—available to almost 50 million households—with key distribution agreements in place with Time Warner Cable, DISH Network, Verizon FiOS, Cox Communications, Charter, Mediacom, and other national distributors, including digital distribution deals with Amazon Prime and Hulu.
Sarhan handles negotiations for theatrical output as well as acquisition deals for library films, documentaries, specials, and digital content. He oversees business affairs on EPIX’s original series and original specials including documentaries, stand-up comedy, and concerts with leading A-list talent such as Louis CK, Lewis Black, Craig Ferguson, Eddie Izzard, Kevin Smith, Jim Norton, Black Eyed Peas, Madonna, Usher, Britney Spears, and Coldplay.
Sarhan was previously Senior Vice President at Viacom Media Networks, where he oversaw all business affairs for EPIX and, as one of the founding members of the EPIX team, worked on nearly every aspect of the network’s business including distribution, digital strategy, TV Everywhere initiatives, business development, programming acquisitions, and production deals. Sarhan negotiated key agreements that allowed EPIX to become the first premium network to offer subscribers access on Android devices, Roku, Xbox 360, and Sony PLAYSTATION. He also worked on EPIX’s industry-defining deal with Netflix. In 2013, he briefly served as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Business Affairs for WWE (NYSE: WWE), before returning to EPIX as head of the programming department.
During his career, Sarhan has worked on nearly every aspect of the national launches of several high-profile projects including cable networks, video game franchises, digital entertainment companies, and start-ups.
Before EPIX, Sarhan was a Vice President in Viacom’s Media Networks division, which encompasses several cable networks including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and Spike as well as over 50 leading Internet properties. He handled all business and legal affairs for Viacom’s MTV Games group. A member of Viacom’s company-wide Gaming Council, Sarhan negotiated agreements with Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft that established MTV Games as a publisher and was part of the team that launched the hugely successful Rock Band video game franchise as well as The Beatles: Rock Band, which marked the first time the iconic band’s music was available digitally.
Prior to joining Viacom, Sarhan founded and ran two separate start-ups—developing the concepts and business models, raising money, and growing both. Sarhan was the sole founder and CEO of Cracked Entertainment. He acquired CRACKED, the historical competitor to MAD Magazine, and relaunched it as a digital property—CRACKED.com—targeting a new demo with an entirely new editorial formula. It is now one of the country’s leading comedy sites. Before that, Sarhan co-founded and ran a start-up in the financial services/technology space. The company entered into exclusive deals with both Ameritrade and NASDAQ to provide trading technology to emerging stock markets and banks in developing markets.
Sarhan began his career practicing law in the New York office of White & Case, a multi-national law firm. He was an associate in the corporate department and handled a range of transactions with a focus on IP-related work. He worked with clients including e*trade, Pfizer, and the NFL.