Freesat Board

Bal Samra, Director

Bal Samra was appointed Director, BBC Rights & Business Affairs / Director, Vision Operations in November 2006 and operates a dual role within the BBC. He oversees a team of more than 1,000 staff across the business and sits on the BBC's management board. As Director, Rights & Business Affairs across the BBC he manages the external business relationships with all organisations which represent companies and individuals engaging with the BBC in producing the content for its services.

Magnus Brooke, Director

Magnus Brooke is Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs at ITV plc with overall responsibility for ITV’s policy and regulatory strategy and its interaction with UK and European regulators and government.  Magnus is also Chair of the Board of the Association of Commercial Television in Europe, a non-executive director of Digital UK and the Broadcast Advertising Board of Finance (which raises the funds for the self regulation of broadcast advertising by the ASA). Prior to joining ITV in July 2006 he was Head of the BBC Director General’s Office for three years first for Greg Dyke and subsequently for Mark Thompson. Magnus began his career as a solicitor specialising in regulatory and competition law at city solicitors Ashursts where he also trained

Christy Swords, Director

Christy Swords is Director of Finance and Operations for ITV Broadcasting. In this role, Christy is responsible for finance and operations across ITV's UK channels, ITV Sales and the wider ITV commercial team, and ITV's online, pay and interactive businesses. Christy is also responsible for ITV's relationships with platforms including Freesat, Freeview and Youview. Christy has worked at ITV since 1999 in a variety of roles, including Director of Regulatory Affairs, Director of Investor Relations and Director of Strategy and Operations for ITV Broadcasting. During 2014, Christy was Launch Director for ITV Encore and ITVBe, ITV's new pay TV and free-to-air channels both of which launched during the year. Prior to joining ITV, Christy worked for a public affairs company in Westminster and for NHK TV in London and Tokyo. Christy lives in South London and is married with two children. 

Alistair Thom, Managing Director

Alistair leads Freesat as Managing Director, overseeing the continued successful growth and innovation of the TV service. He has overall P&L responsibility for the strategic development as well as the day-to-day operations of Freesat and leads a multi-disciplinary team, which works across the broadcasting, retail and technology sectors. Before joining Freesat in 2012, Alistair worked as a management consultant for KPMG where he advised FTSE listed organisations on a wide range of issues; primarily focusing on developing and implementing strategies to improve business performance. Alistair started his career at BSkyB where he gained his accountancy qualification on their graduate programme.