Stingray Digital Hires Rick Bergan as U.S. Distribution Exec

Stingray Digital Group said it hired Rick Bergan, a former distribution executive at rival music programming provider Music Choice, as head of content distribution for the United States, a newly created position. Bergan most recently was at OneTwoSee, a Philadelphia-based startup company in the realm of sports technology and data that was recently acquired by Comcast, Stingray said. Previously he was senior vice president of distribution at Music Choice. Stingray said Bergan will work closely with Brian Decker, the SVP of U.S. sales, and will be responsible for sales development and building relationships with sales agents and TV operators in this country. Stingray Digital is based in Montreal, Canada. Bergan will be based on the East Coast and joins Stingray on Aug. 15, the company said.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rick as part of Stingray’s growing management team,” Eric Boyko, co-founder, president and CEO of Stingray, said in a release. “He is a team player with extensive expertise in music distribution, marketing and business development. His ability to constantly innovate, his energetic leadership style, and his faultless reputation are strong foundations on which we can continue to grow and build our business in the U.S. market.”

Music Choice in June sued Stingray Digital in federal court in Texas, claiming the Canadian company had infringed on patents held by Music Choice in gaining pay-TV affiliate customers in the United States, particularly citing Stingray's service provision to AT&T U-verse. Stingray Digital denied the infringement claims and said it would contest the lawsuit. Music Choice is owned by a partnership among subsidiaries of Microsoft, Arris, Sony Corp. of America, EMI Music Publishing, Time Warner Inc. and these U.S. cable providers: Comcast Cable Communications, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable (now owned by Charter Communications).