Sports, Media & Entertainment

OVERVIEW

Attorneys in Anderson Kill’s Sports, Media and Entertainment Group have deep experience representing star entertainers, production companies, talent agencies, national broadcast and cable companies, major sports leagues and teams, record companies, and publishers in a full array of legal services.  

Services include negotiating contracts, transactions, and financing deals; IP services, including licensing agreements, talent contracts, brand protection, NFT development and licensing, and copyright infringement litigation; prosecution and defense in antitrust and competition matters; labor arbitration and collective bargaining in major league sports; and insurance recovery.

Representative matters

Contracts, Transactions and IP

  • Represented Sankofa.org:  Harry Belafonte’s non-profit organization raising awareness of social equity issues and funding initiatives through projects nationwide including concerts, plays, prisoner education programs.

  • Negotiated production and property acquisition deal with major film company for client with 20% joint venture interest in studio projects. Negotiated.  Client with 20% joint venture interest in studio projects, negotiated exclusive licensing deals on historical footage for variety of new development projects.  Drafted project MOUs.
  • Represented major celebrity music producer across multiple transactions with multiple artists, including event production and performance deals, influencer joint ventures and product representative deals. Representation included equity acquisitions and grants for a myriad of business opportunities.
  • Represented key spiritual leader in Accra, Ghana  in church media business. Negotiated channel distribution agreement for recently acquired television station to offer exclusive spiritual and religious programming in the U.S. and globally. Drafted and revised formal written undertakings in support of church policies and procedures for satellite worship locations and spiritual leaders.
  • Reviewed and revised production and performance agreements for off-Broadway plays and performances. Drafted production agreements and performance contracts, site releases, and work-made for hire documentation. Negotiated final unpaid invoices for production costs.
  • Negotiated agreements for celebrity appearances for celebrity rappers.
  • Reviewed and revised “Label Services Agreement” for global music distribution deal. 
  • Reviewed and revised various onsite performance agreements and releases with respect to major performing artist appearances. 
  • Helped client structure a comprehensive financial improvement academy of service for NFL and NBA players to help them retain their income and make smarter decisions (professional advisory services joint venture).
  • Represented several musicians in music copyright infringement matters. 
  • Served as counsel to gospel music recording artists as part of general counsel services to a performer’s association.
  • Represented NFL players in brand endorsement matters.
  • Negotiated music track license agreements for performing artists with Nickelodeon.
  • Represented several film and television artists in production work-for-hire agreements.
  • Provided brand protection services and consultation for a web-based animated series.
  • Represented an author in the migration of an award-winning children’s book series to an animated game.
  • Assisted a Broadway theater production house with NFT development/licensing matters.

Antitrust

  • Defended Barnes & Noble Booksellers in a price fixing and a consumer protection case that resulted in a Motion to Dismiss granted with prejudice in Circuit Court of Monongalia County, West Virginia.
  • Presented testimony to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on antitrust violations of the college football structure, the BCS, pertaining to the  Mountain West Football Conference.
  • Represent the New York City Bar Association as amicus in support of minor league baseball teams’ challenge to MLB’s antitrust exemption.

Labor and Employment

  • Represented NBC and its owned and operated stations in collective bargaining. Successfully handled large volume of labor arbitrations with unions representing talent and technical employees.
  • Provided general labor and employment counsel to BMG Music/RCA Records. Successfully completed acquisition, restructuring and relocation and/or closing of manufacturing/distribution facilities and recording studio operations. Defended claims of employment discrimination.
  • Represented NFL in arbitration matters and concerning substance abuse policies.

Insurance recovery

  • Represent a national broadcast/cable company with regard to insurance coverage under multiple lines and towers of insurance for multiple claims, lawsuits, and arbitrations stemming from fraud and breach of contract allegations against a long-running television series.
  • Represent an educational publisher seeking excess insurance coverage stemming from a trademark and copyright infringement suit.
  • Represent an information service provider in a copyright infringement suit.

Practice Area Chair(s)

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