Peter Zern

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Covington & Burling LLP
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004-2401
Tel: 202.662.5679





  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1998
    • magna cum laude
    • Order of the Coif
  • Dartmouth College, A.B., 1995

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia

Peter Zern is a partner in the firm’s corporate group, whose practice focuses on sports and media transactions, finance, and mergers and acquisitions.

Mr. Zern represents many of the firm’s sports clients, including Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the Big East Conference and the US Olympic Committee.  In addition to sports media, finance, mergers and acquisitions and other transactions, Mr. Zern has significant experience in negotiating and structuring debt and equity financings and mergers and acquisitions outside of the sports industry.

Representative Matters

  • Represented Christopher Cohan in connection with the sale of the Golden State Warriors NBA franchise for a record-breaking $450 million purchase price.
  • Represented the National Football League in connection with various league and team financings, including its league-wide term note and revolving credit facility programs and in its G-3 stadium funding programs.
  • Represented Turner Sports in connection with its 14-year television and new media rights agreement with the NCAA and CBS Sports for the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
  • Represented Major League Baseball in the launch of The MLB Network, including the negotiation of joint venture arrangements with distributors for ownership of the channel, and represented the National Hockey League in negotiation of joint venture arrangements for the NHL Network.
  • Represented the Big East Conference in all of its matters including its media rights and membership matters.

Honors and Rankings

  • Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers (2008-2013)
  • Best Lawyers in America, "Washington Sports Lawyer of the Year" (2014)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2012-2014)
  • Law360, Rising Stars (2013)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, "Rising Star" (2013)
  • SportsBusiness Journal
    • Forty Under 40 Hall of Fame (2012)
    • Forty Under 40 (2008-2009, 2012)
  • Washington Business Journal, 40 Under 40 (2010)

Pro Bono

  • Representation of an Independent Advisory Committee, chaired by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, in connection with its examination and recommendations regarding the governance of the US Olympic Committee.
  • Representation of the Washington, DC Humane Society

Publications and Speeches

  • "Launching a Single Sport Cable Network," SportBusiness International (04/2009), Co-Author
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