Capabilities
Telecommunications, Internet, and Media

Broadcast, Multichannel Video

We handle the full range of legal and policy issues facing broadcasters, and cable, direct broadcast satellite (DBS), and other video service providers. We have a long history of representing broadcasters in traditional regulatory matters, as well as transfers and other transactions involving broadcast properties. We are equally well versed in the current issues facing broadcasters, as well as many other video service providers, such as the digital television transition, multiple-ownership limitations, indecency, violence, payola, multicast must-carry, and innovative distribution mechanisms for video and audio content.

Multichannel Video. Our practice has had an impact on many of the major policy and regulatory battles that have shaped today's video marketplace. Since the early 1980s, we have been involved in the key US regulatory, Constitutional, legislative, and policy proceedings affecting the growth and development of multichannel video programming distribution (MVPD). Our practice has evolved from representing local franchising authorities during the initial franchising and renewal processes to representing commercial clients in litigation; in state, local, and federal regulatory matters; and in transactions involving the transfer of major video assets, among other things. For example, we advised on the regulatory, commercial, corporate, and intellectual property aspects of the launch of a major new pay TV service in Africa; we represented a cable company in litigation challenging the nonrenewal of a franchise; and we have provided strategic advice on regulatory and policy issues affecting entry in the MVPD market. As that market continues to converge and develop so that video service is distributed across multiple platforms using various technologies, we provide strategic advice and help clients navigate the changing regulatory and legislative landscape.

Broadcast. We advise clients on the complex rules governing the transition of television broadcasting from analog to digital, protect their interests in ensuring cable and DBS carriage, defend against indecency complaints, and protect the First Amendment rights of public broadcasters. Along with our corporate and, where necessary, antitrust colleagues, we also handle the purchase and sale of broadcast stations, both for larger multiple owners and for smaller broadcast licensees. We also routinely advise clients on compliance with FCC political broadcast, EEO, and other rules and regulations.


Experience

Association of Public Television Stations (APTS); Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Forbes v. Arkansas Educational Television Communication Network Foundation; Chandler v. Georgia Public Telecommunications Commission

Appeal relating to a First Amendment challenge to the right of state television networks to hold debates among selected candidates for elective office.

Representatives of recording companies Payola issues

Advised the recording industry concerning payola issues.

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Digital radio content protection

Represented the recording industry in efforts to obtain content protection for copyrighted material broadcast by digital radio stations.

Association of Public Television Stations (APTS); Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Negotiations with cable companies

Represented clients in negotiating the carriage of their multicast digital television programs by the major cable companies.

Television station clients Telecommunications counseling

Assisted television clients in connection with the transition from analog to digital television service.

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Perspectives

What is the impact of the new Ofcom penalty guidelines?
The Digital Watcher
Overview

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