PRACTICE AREAS
Practice Areas
Practice Areas

Media, Communications and Entertainment


Practice Leader: Amy B. Ginensky

Pepper Hamilton’s Media, Communications and Entertainment Group serves clients that engage in or finance the development, distribution, publication and exchange of information worldwide. Our MCE lawyers serve clients in news (print and broadcast), sports, entertainment, telecommunications, financial services, education, consumer retail, business-to-business, manufacturing, high technology and other aspects of the media world.

Our MCE practice differs from our competitors in several ways:

  • we provide a single source for all legal MCE needs
  • we are commercial-minded
  • we have:

    • specific and deep industry and operating knowledge
    • significant in-house experience with private corporations and government
    • experience as leaders in relevant American Bar Association committees
    • Chambers USA-recognized media, communications and entertainment authorities.
Our services include:
Clients
  • television and radio station owners
  • content owners (programmers and syndicators)
  • internet companies
  • newspaper and magazine publishers (print and electronic)
  • book publishers (print and electronic)
  • multiple System Cable Operators
  • broadband and narrowband providers
  • wireline and wireless communications and service providers
  • authors
  • music licensing and performing rights agencies
  • entertainment rating agencies
  • creators and owners of proprietary technologies
  • motion picture production and distribution companies
  • information database developers and licensors
  • trade show, conference and award operators
  • telecommunications companies
  • education companies
  • business-to-Business companies
  • advertising agencies
  • government contractors
  • equity sponsors and investors (private equity and venture capital)
  • mezzanine lenders, senior lenders and other credit providers
  • financial advisors and valuation experts.


BUSINESS, FINANCE & TAX

Pepper MCE lawyers in business, finance & tax are experienced in:

  • mergers, acquisitions, stock and asset purchases and sales
  • joint ventures and joint development groups
  • public and private equity transactions
  • venture capital
  • senior, mezzanine, second lien and other debt financing and refinancing
  • employee benefits and executive compensation
  • real estate matters, including tower and antenna construction and finance
  • antitrust
  • outsourcing
  • setting up e-commerce operations, including Web stores
  • cross-border taxation, spin-offs, tax-free asset exchanges (IRS Code section 1031), FIN 48 compliance, state tax optimization, including IDA sales tax exemption, transaction cost deduction analysis, pre-filing agreements and IRS representation in audits
  • corporate governance matters.
Our business, finance and tax lawyers have completed hundreds of MCE transactions working with our intellectual property and regulatory lawyers. Our approach is a commercial one with a global view, and our extensive industry experience has achieved tax savings, price reductions and other cost efficiencies in acquisitions, dispositions and other business transactions.

Pepper represents businesses at every stage of development, from start-ups to multinationals. We also represent sponsors and other investors, investment banks and financial advisors, lenders, outsourcers, licensors, licensees and others dealing in content ownership, distribution and other publication, information technology, information storage and protection, and many other areas.

Please see our Representative Experience.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Pepper lawyers are experienced in assisting MCE clients in intellectual property issues such as:
  • content acquisition, licensing and distribution
  • digital rights management
  • data collection and maintenance
  • data security and privacy
  • intellectual property audits and evaluations
  • sales and marketing programs
  • patent advice and litigation
  • trademark advice, prosecution and defense
  • copyright counseling and defense
  • software licensing and development.
Our IP lawyers have completed hundreds of transactions working with our business, finance and tax lawyers, and regulatory lawyers. They manage extensive IP portfolios and help protect and take maximum commercial advantage of the intellectual property assets of MCE clients.

Please see our Representative Experience.

FIRST AMENDMENT LITIGATION

Pepper MCE litigation and counseling lawyers have successfully represented publishers and related media entities – on the national and local level – in numerous First Amendment, defamation and privacy suits. We have an in-depth knowledge of both First Amendment principles and the passion journalists have for their jobs. We share that passion and convey it to our adversaries and the court.

For more information about our First Amendment litigation practice, please see our more detailed description.

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

Pepper also is experienced in representing MCE clients in all types of business disputes, including breach-of-contract cases, antitrust matters and other disputes.

Representative engagements include:
  • defended a film distribution and production company in defense of
    refusal to deal case charging violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and
    Pennsylvania’s film distribution statutes
  • wrongful death and personal injury litigation based on promoter liability in connection with events sponsored by a radio station
  • litigation involving the right of public access to public and semi-public areas to exercise free speech rights
  • breach-of-contract litigation, landlord-tenant disputes and other commercial litigation for media clients.

For more information on our commercial litigation capabilities, see our more detailed description.

REGULATORY

Pepper assists MCE clients with regulatory issues such as:

  • franchising
  • consumer advertising and marketing and other FTC matters
  • U.S., state and international privacy, security and data protection regulations.
RESTRUCTURING & BANKRUPTCY

Pepper is experienced in advising MCE clients on:
  • transactions with distressed companies
  • license continuation
  • bankruptcy litigation
  • debtor and creditor representation
  • state law creditors’ rights
  • transactional opinions.
Pepper’s restructuring and bankruptcy group is an integrated network of professionals and support personnel who focus exclusively on all aspects of reorganizations, bankruptcies, restructurings, workouts and buyouts. Our team is national in focus, appearing regularly in bankruptcy courts throughout the country. Our clients include large national and international public and privately held corporations, as well as governmental entities, small businesses and individuals.

Representative MCE Engagements
  • Showtime Enterprises, Inc., et al. – represented principals of Chapter
    11 debtors
  • Talkpoint Communications, Inc. – representation of Chapter 11 debtor
  • Worldcom, Inc., et al.– representation of Courthouse Place, Inc. and Westcon Group, Inc. in Chapter 11 proceeding
  • Regal Group, Inc. — representation of Chapter 11 debtor.
For more information on our restructuring and bankruptcy practice, see our more detailed description.

SPORTS

Pepper Hamilton LLP has a long history of representing sports clients — going as far back as the 1920s, when firm founder George Wharton Pepper argued the U.S. Supreme Court case that granted professional baseball its antitrust exemption.

Today, we help sports clients with matters ranging from employment issues and business contracts to intellectual property protection, the financing and construction of new stadiums and arenas, and the purchase of major league sports teams. Our sports practice brings together lawyers with deep experience in commercial law, dispute resolution and government regulation, all dedicated to helping our clients reach their goals.

Pepper’s sports practice encompasses the following general areas: representation of teams and sports organizations; financing and construction of sports facilities; and representation of individuals and sports-related businesses. We have particular experience representing professional baseball and hockey franchises.


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