Communications, media and entertainment

A&O Shearman’s communications, media and entertainment team understands the objectives and challenges of the leading players in these sectors.

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We support our clients on their critical M&A and organizational projects, financings, regulatory challenges and disputes.

Diverse media experience 

Our global media team represents clients across the media value chain, from content creators and distributors to advertising and technology companies. We advise on corporate finance, IP, antitrust and regulatory, commercial contracts, compensation and employment, dispute resolution, capital markets and real estate issues. Our clients include with businesses in diverse segments including news, TV, film, games, and music, as well as online, TV and radio broadcasters. 

Top-tier video games team 

Our knowledge of the games industry and the evolution of its business models is key to our clients’ success. With the rise in digital distribution and online communities, games are true global products, with publishers releasing titles in different languages simultaneously to audiences across the world.  

We advise publishers, studios and platforms on IP, disputes, distribution, competition, licensing, data privacy and AI matters. We are also guiding our clients through an increasingly active M&A market, as well as the challenges posed by blockchain gaming and NFTs. More broadly we are acting on the application of existing rules to new contexts including video game competitions (eSports), virtual and augmented reality, monetization mechanisms such as lootboxes, and the broadcast of concerts within video games.  

Deep sports expertise 

Our sports industry team represents a wide range of clients on matters relating to professional and amateur sports, including franchises, financial institutions, athletes and governing bodies. We act as strategic counsel to our clients on their most sensitive and business-critical matters, from mergers and acquisitions to stadium financings, while our teams have also handled a series of complex workplace investigations across the sports industry. 

Track record in telecoms 

Our lawyers have worked for many years with many of the world's leading telecoms operators, their investors and lenders, as well as network vendors and regulators. We support complex cross-border mergers, joint ventures and carveouts, network sharing, ambitious merger control cases, and regulatory proceedings. Our clients in the sector trust our deep experience and strategic insights. 

Leading satellites advisors 

We represent clients operating various satellite systems, from GEOs to MEOs, LEOs and high-altitude aeronautical platforms. We handle all types of space and satellite financings, including corporate, debt, equity and structured solutions, and have experience in financial restructurings, satellite-related M&A transactions, disputes, IP and insurance matters. Our lawyers have deep knowledge of the international regulation of spectrum rights, the Outer Space Treaties, ITU regulatory framework, and export controls in the space industry. 

Data centers 

We have a strong track record in the data center space, working with owners, operators, developers, investors, lenders, customers and suppliers on a wide range of legal and regulatory matters. Our practice covers issues from real estate to construction, financing, leasing and colocation contracts, licensing, data protection and cybersecurity, sustainability, tax, IP, and dispute resolution. Our market-leading experience in data center development and financings complements our work in data center M&A, carveouts and joint ventures. 

Representative matters
  • Fenway Sports Group (FSG) on various matters including the sale of a minority interest in Liverpool FC to Dynasty Equity, the acquisition of a controlling interest in the Pittsburgh Penguins ice hockey team and a significant investment in FSG by RedBird Capital Partners. We also advised Strategic Sports Group, an investment consortium led by Fenway Sports Group, in its investment in PGA TOUR Enterprises.  
  • Warner Music Group on its acquisition of EMP Merchandising Handelsgesellschaft, a leading European online retailer of music and entertainment merchandise, including the acquisition of trademarks and domain names.  
  • Development Finance Institutions and Export Credit Agencies on the USD1.2 billion funding for O3b Networks, the satellite venture backed by investors including Google and SES. This project involved the launch of a satellite-based system to provide low-cost fibre-quality backhaul services to cellular, fixed line and internet service providers. The transaction was named “African Telecoms Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International.  
  • Liberty Global on its joint venture with Digital Colony Partners, the digital infrastructure arm of Colony Capital, to create AtlasEdge Data Centres, a European Edge data center business. 
  • Frankfurt-based data centre developer, maincubes, in connection with securing EUR685 million of committed development facilities plus an uncommitted EUR350m accordion facility. 
  • A global telecommunications services provider on its EUR21.8bn deal with CK Hutchison to form a joint venture with 3 Italia and Wind Telecomunicazioni, with the combined businesses creating the number one operator in Italy for mobile customers. Our role included advising on the four-to-three-to-four merger clearance. Subsequently, we advised our client on the EUR2.45bn sale of its 50% stake in Wind Tre to CK Hutchison.  
  • Altice on its acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corporation, involving extensive IP due diligence and negotiation of IP-related provisions in the transaction documents.  
  • Corning Incorporated on its acquisition of 3M Company's Fiber and Copper Connectivity Solutions business, involving the acquisition of more than 1,000 patents and patent applications worldwide.  

Our industry expertise

Our lawyers act as trusted advisors to the leading industry players across the world. Explore their capabilities below.

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