Bal Samra

Bal Samra profile picture

Bal is a media professional and entrepreneur with over thirty years of experience in the media industry. He works closely with a number of creative businesses helping them to grow and accelerate their potential.

During his long career at the BBC Bal worked in Television, News, Radio and Online, in commissioning, production and operational areas - he’s led editorial, commercial, finance, technology and strategy teams.

Bal is a champion of inclusivity and social mobility within the media industry. As Managing Director of BBC Television he oversaw significant changes to the commissioning system to promote more diversity on and off screen. He was instrumental in developing the BBC’s network of production bases out of London and a big supporter of fair access for small independent production companies. At the NFTS he has actively supported the school to expand its presence across the UK.

Over his long career, he has operated at the cross hares of creativity, business and technology. Bal was a leading architect behind the BBC IPlayer and played a central role in some of the most prestigious service launches, including BBC News Online, Radio 5 live and BBC3.

As BBC Group Commercial Director he was responsible for Intellectual property, rights and deal making, overseeing the BBC’s relationship with key creative partners - including the independent production sector and talent representatives for writers, actors, presenters and musicians.

Bal’s inclusivity and social mobility work extends into his current portfolio of non executive roles. He is Trustee of the Ormiston Academies Trust sponsoring 43 academy schools in the most disadvantaged and impoverished areas of the country. He is Trustee of BAFTA and was on the investment committee of Comic Relief.
Bal has completed a leadership programme at Wharton Business School and has been recognised for his invaluable contribution to the creative industries by receiving the 2015 Global award for Sikhs in Media.