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Covington’s dedication to the business of sports runs broad and deep. Our work spans the industry—from league and association structuring, governance, and rule-making matters to acquisitions of franchises or other sports related businesses; from launches of single sport and regional sports networks to groundbreaking Internet and mobile media agreements; from the formation of new e-sport start-up ventures to multi-billion dollar stadium financings, Covington has played a central role in headline-making sports matters for decades.
For more than 50 years, we have represented major U.S. and international sports organizations, among them Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, USOC, USGA, UFC, USTA and the American Athletic Association, Atlantic 10 and Pacific-12 conferences in the United States; the FIA (the governing body of Formula 1 racing), Drayson Technologies and British Horseracing Authority in Europe; and League of Legends maker Riot Games and parent Tencent Holdings in the U.S. and China (e-sports ventures). We also have advised a host of individual leagues, teams, and clubs in the U.S. and internationally, including with respect to governance and league structuring, and we have also advised prospective owners and investors looking to enter the industry through team or other business acquisitions or joint ventures.
Sports industry participants regularly seek our advice for complex, industry-shaping legal questions covering such diverse matters as antitrust counseling, collective bargaining, copyright enforcement, financings, governance, insurance recovery, litigation, media rights development, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory affairs, sponsorships, and state, federal, and international tax.
Defended the 2011 lockout against the antitrust claims in Brady v. NFL; negotiated a comprehensive 10-year CBA providing labor peace.
Represented Steve Ballmer in his $2 billion acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers from The Sterling Family Trust.
Represented the NHL in connection with entry into a six-year digital rights partnership under which the NHL licensed to MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) rights to distribute the NHL’s out-of-market subscription packages, digital and online properties, and related rights, and in connection with negotiations for an equity stake in a to-be-formed tech company that is expected to be created by MLBAM.
Represented the NFL in negotiating its multi-billion dollar deal with DIRECTV to extend DIRECTV's exclusive rights to carry the NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market games package through a new multi-year agreement. The new agreement expands DIRECTV’s rights to stream NFL Sunday Ticket on mobile devices and via broadband, and provides for the NFL and DIRECTV to explore the development of an NFL Sunday Ticket over-the-top subscription service. The deal also provides for DirecTV to continue to carry NFL Network.
Secured dismissal of purported multi-billion dollar collusion claim brought by the NFL Players Association.
Secured a “no change” letter from the IRS Examination division after its challenge to the economic substance of a taxpayer’s $1.1 billion financing program.
Represented The National Football League on its next generation data collaboration with Sportsradar, a European sports data company.
Represented the NFL in the $1.4 billion sale and related $200 million financing of the Buffalo Bills franchise to Terry and Kim Pegula.
Representation of the National Football League in connection with its deal to extend DirecTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket in a multi-year agreement.
Advised a major sports league on the procedures for conducting pre-hire background checks under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and state law, and drafted appropriate contract language and consent forms accordingly.
Represented WWE in the launch of the WWE Network, a direct-to-consumer, subscription-only, online video channel that will air round-the-clock programming, including new programs and matches, an on-demand service, WrestleMania, and a six-decades-deep library for $9.99 a month. This is one of the first sports “over the top” offerings in the United States and the transaction received a great deal of publicity as a result.
Represented NHL in connection with its entry into a joint venture with Silver Chalice Partners, Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball Advance Media for the creation and launch of 120 Sports, the first multi-sport, league-created digital network in the United States. In addition to MLB and NHL content, the digital network will include content from the NBA, NASCAR and a number of college conferences. The network is expected to offer 24/7 programming on an unauthenticated basis, including live sports highlights and related news programming.
Represented the PGA of America, the USTA, the U.S. Olympic Committee, the American Athletic Conference, the A-10 Conference, the Chicago Cubs, and the LA Clippers (among others) in connection with the negotiation of their media rights agreements.
Represented Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer in connection with their purchase of a limited partnership interest in the Sacramento Kings from this Chapter 11 debtor.
Represented Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors in connection with the acquisition of commercial rights to Pelé’s name and likeness.
Represented Tom Benson, owner of the New Orleans Saints, in his acquisition of the New Orleans Hornets NBA franchise.
Represented Christopher Cohan in his $450 million sale of the Golden State Warriors NBA franchise.
Advised Football Sports Development on the formation of the Indian Super League (ISL).
Successfully defended Capital Cities/ABC, GE, the NFL, Verizon, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America in separate suits against claims that independent contractors were entitled to benefits under company plans.
Representation of the National Football League in connection with its deal to extend DirecTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket in a multi-year agreement.
Represented GSP Finance as lender in its NBA -related financings, including financings provided to the Sacramento Kings and the holding company for the New Jersey Nets.
Represented an affiliate of Reliance Industries in the launch of the Indian Super League, a professional soccer league in India, including structuring of the league and its governing documents, and sale of franchise rights.
FCC handed Covington a decisive victory to the Tennis Channel in its discriminatory carriage lawsuit against Comcast Cable Communications, the largest distributor of video programming content.
Represented Time Warner Cable Inc. in a joint venture with the Los Angeles Dodgers to create a regional sports network that now carries the team’s games and in connection with the related distribution and license agreements.
Represented the NHL in negotiating its 12 year, C$5.232 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for national broadcast and multimedia rights to NHL games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, in Canada. The agreement is the largest media rights deal in NHL history and one of the largest media rights deals, including the largest-ever sports-media rights agreement, in Canadian history.
Represented MLB in connection with the formation and launch of the MLB Network, including negotiating joint venture arrangements with major carriers and the MLB Network’s carriage terms.
In persuading a U.S. appellate court to accept its disciplinary procedure in an anti-doping case as a valid arbitration award, not subject to judicial challenge by a star athlete, Mary Decker Slaney. 244 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 2001).
Negotiated various innovative program agreements for (a) the NFL, including for example, its deals with ESPN and Sprint and one with TiVo to protect its programming against Internet piracy, (b) other program deals involving PBS, Comcast and Children’s Television Workshop and (c) NBC Weather Plus and NBC Broadband -- joint ventures between the network and its affiliates.
Kangaroo Media Inc. in the negotiation of an agreement with Formula One for the rights to provide a handheld TV service to racing fans at F1 events around the world.
Represented Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors on a range of its lending transactions and other investments, including loans to (and other investments in) Sport 10 IP Limited, the holding company that owns all of Pelé’s marketing rights as well as the rights to all of Pelé commercial appearances.
Negotiated highly favorable settlements with the IRS in the representation of a professional sports club in a $275 million dispute regarding stadium financing, player contracts, and broadcast agreements, and of a different club in a $300 million dispute regarding the club’s affiliated cable network.
Advised the NHL in connection with its entry into a joint venture with Silver Chalice Partners, Sports Illustrated and Major League Baseball Advance Media for the creation and launch of 120 Sports, the first multi-sport, league-created digital network in the United States. In addition to MLB and NHL content, the digital network will include content from the NBA, NASCAR and a number of college conferences. The network is expected to offer 24/7 programming on an unauthenticated basis, including live sports highlights and related news programming.
Persuaded a state Department of Taxation to reverse its long-held, industry-wide position regarding sports clubs’ apportionment methodologies and to consequently drop 14 separate club audits.
Advised the National Football League in its eight-year agreement with ESPN providing for Monday Night Football, the most successful series in sports media history, to remain on ESPN through the 2021 NFL season.
Advised major content providers, including sports leagues and television programmers and operators, on broadcasting, online and digital media advertising trends.
Defending 49ers in class action antitrust challenge to its policies governing the printing of pdf copies of game tickets (Kazemzadeh v. San Francisco 49ers).
Represented Samsung in defeating right of publicity action brought by Olympic athletes.
Lobbying state governments and developing league-wide policies regarding the state taxation of visiting players and teams in almost every state in the country.
Regularly advise the NFL on a range of broadband issues, from net neutrality to online privacy to compulsory copyright, and briefed the NBA on how the media landscape is changing, and how broadband is both a compliment and a threat to existing models.
Represented the National Football League in a copyright infringement action against a satellite carrier, successfully obtaining statutory damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting satellite retransmission of game telecasts originating in the United States to locations outside the United States.
Assist the National Football League in registering copyright and combatting the unauthorized retransmission and public performance of NFL game telecasts over the internet.
Defending NFL in class action and direct antitrust challenges to its trademark licensing arrangements (American Needle v. NFL and Dang v. NFL).
Defending NFL in multi-district class action antitrust challenges to its broadcast distribution arrangements for out-of-market games (In re Sunday Ticket Antitrust Litigation).
Won dismissal of a class action antitrust complaint alleging conspiracy to restrain market for “likenesses” of former NFL football players (Washington v. National Football League).
Represented the National Football league in a class action challenging the League’s licensing arrangements for the use of team marks and logos on apparel.
Secured the dismissal, affirmed on appeal, of claims that the League had breached certain duties to players who had lost substantial sums as the result of fraud by an investment advisor.
Represented the NFL in the renewal of Motorola’s sideline sponsorship with the NFL for coaches’ headsets and other wireless equipment. Covington helped the NFL define the rules—and the scope of the covered business category—to ensure a win for both sides.
Representation of the National Football League in multiple federal court cases to enjoin the unauthorized retransmission and public performance of NFL game telecasts across U.S. borders via satellite and the Internet and within U.S. borders where games are locally blacked-out, or otherwise unauthorized.
Represented the NFL in securing the dismissal of class action claims brought by retired players alleging a conspiracy to restrain a market for the sale of their images and likenesses.
Representation of the National Football League in its $17 billion, 8-year U.S. network television programming agreements and in its agreements with AOL, SportsLine.com and others for the joint production of the official NFL websites.
Successfully defended the NFL’s college draft eligibility rules from antitrust challenge in Clarett v. NFL (2d Cir.) and in separate litigation secured recovery from insurers for the firm’s defense costs in the antitrust litigation.
Advised the NFL on its multi-billion dollar league-wide credit facilities, consisting of a revolving credit facility and multiple term note offerings. Over 20 NFL teams participate in these facilities, which are negotiated by the NFL on behalf of its member clubs and allow participating clubs to obtain financing on favorable terms through a structured arrangement that gives lenders priority access to the teams’ share of national television revenues and which is otherwise secured by a pledge of all of the assets of each participating club.
Represented the NFL in a host of arbitrations under the NFL collective bargaining agreements, including the disputes regarding the Jimmy Graham Franchise Tender, the Drew Brees Franchise Tender, the Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress, and Larry Johnson salary forfeitures, and the Washington Redskins/Dallas Cowboys salary cap reallocation.
Representation of the NFL and other sports leagues in tax, corporate, legislative, and PR matters related to the relinquishment of their tax-exempt status. Projects involved tax planning, meetings with IRS executives and members of Congress, and coordination of audit defense strategy.
Advise on cutting edge trademark strategies, domain name, social media, and keyword advertising issues, manage U.S. and global portfolios, and provided trademark advisory and prosecution services to leading US and global brand owners, including: American Automobile Association (AAA); AOL, Inc.; Astelllas US; Business Software Alliance; Dale & Thomas Popcorn; Expedia, Inc.; FeraDyne Outdoors; German American Chambers of Commerce; Lewis Bakeries, Inc.; Merck & Co. Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; National Basketball Association; National Football League; National Geographic Society; National Hockey League; Public Broadcasting Service; Phi Beta Kappa Society; Promontory Financial Group; and U.S. Soccer Federation.
Represented the NHL on domestic and cross-border tax, corporate, and intellectual property issues related to the creation of the NHL Network, and, separately, to the NHL’s increasing business activity outside North America.
Represented the NHL in connection with the Montreal Canadians' securitization of naming rights revenues for Bell Centre in Montreal.
Advised the National Hockey League in negotiating its twelve-year, C$5.2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for national broadcast and multimedia rights to NHL games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final, in Canada.
Negotiated on behalf of Nike on stadium sponsorship transactions and associated sports apparel merchandizing agreements involving F.C. Internazionale Milano, the Football Union of Russia, and the Cardiff Rugby Football Club.
Secured “no change” letters in income tax audits of two sports leagues and three leagues’ for-profit affiliates (five separate audits).
Represented Mohamed Bin Hammam, former president of the Asian Football Confederation, in his successful challenge before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to his FIFA-ordered lifetime ban from football (soccer) for alleged vote-buying in FIFA’s presidential election.
NASCAR in connection with the production and distribution of content related to the Daytona 500 on iTunes.
Represented the NBA in expanding its partnerships with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company through new, nine-year agreements under which ABC, TNT, and ESPN will televise NBA games beginning with the 2016-17 season and running through the 2024-25 season.
Representation of NBA Properties and the NBA member teams in trademark litigation concerning the DREAM TEAM mark in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, and also in anti-counterfeiting litigation concerning other NBA marks brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against purveyors of counterfeit NBA merchandise in connection with an NBA All-Star game.
Assist the client in preparation of a position paper concerning potential amendments to anti-circumvention provisions of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and in preparation of comments to the Copyright Office on proposed exemptions to Section 1201.
Currently representing approximately a dozen professional sports franchises in IRS audits on issues including the Section 199 deduction, amortization of player bonuses, treatment of fringe benefits, and taxation of stadium operations.
Litigating a matter before the Tax Court involving the taxable nature and deductibility of meal expenses on behalf of the Boston Bruins. The matter being litigated has implications for most national sports teams as well as other employers who provide meals to employees as a de minimis fringe benefit. Jacobs v. Commissioner, Tax Court Docket No. 019009-15.
Represented the American Athletic Conference (then known as the Big East Conference) in matters related to college conference realignment. In all, Covington has secured for the Conference more than $65 million in exit/cancellation fees.
Represent the American Athletic Conference in a putative antitrust class action challenging NCAA and Conference rules on financial aid limits for student athletes. This lawsuit challenges the very existence of amateur collegiate athletics.
Advised local broadcasters, which have unique content in many markets, as they explore deals to move their content to broadband platforms, advised the Washington Post, and worked for many years with the NFL on a range of important communications and media issues, including debates on Sunday Ticket, importation of distant signals, and Internet gambling.
Covington successfully represented the National Football League in a class-action antitrust case in which the NFL Players Association and ten prominent players sought to enjoin the NFL’s lockout of its player-employees. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled for the National Football League, vacating the injunction entered by the District Court on the ground that the injunction violated the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which prohibits judicial interference in labor disputes.
Advised the United States Tennis Association Incorporated and ESPN, Inc. on an 11-year broadcast deal regarding telecasting the entire US Open exclusively on ESPN networks starting in 2015.
Represent Ontario Hockey League as creditor and contract counterparty in the EHCL Chapter 11 case.
Dismissing a purported class action antitrust suit brought by retired players alleging a conspiracy to restrain a market for the sale of their images and likenesses.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. in the creation of its joint venture with CBS Sports and the venture’s 14-year television and new media rights agreement with the NCAA to present the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Representation of the National Football League in negotiations for digital downloads of NFL content and a wide range of other new media deals with Yahoo!, iTunes and others.
Representation of Mohamed Bin Hammam, former president of the Asian Football Confederation, in his successful challenge to his FIFA-ordered lifetime ban from football (soccer) before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Bin Hammam had been banned for alleged vote-buying on the eve of the election for FIFA’s Presidency, in which he was the only challenger to the re-election of Sepp Blatter. In July 2012, the three-judge panel found insufficient evidence and annulled the ban.
Developing and drafting tax-efficient compensation packages for both front-office executives and athletes. Settled an Appeals case regarding a franchise owner’s built-in gain upon the sale of his franchise, with the taxpayer receiving a multi-million dollar refund from the government.
Deal structuring and related counseling regarding numerous franchise sales, including Chris Hansen in his efforts to acquire the Sacramento Kings or another NBA franchise with a view towards a relocation to Seattle; Chris Cohan’s sale of the Golden State Warriors; the NHL’s purchase and sale of the Phoenix Coyotes; Major League Baseball’s relocation and sale of the Montreal Expos; Fenway Sports Group’s purchase of a 50 percent interest in Roush Racing; the USTA’s acquisition of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters tournament; and John Henry’s sale of the Florida Marlins and purchase (as lead investor) of the Boston Red Sox.
Advised the National Football League in numerous licensing and other transactions.
We represented Fox Networks Group in various agreements for carriage of the Fox suite of cable networks and the Fox owned and operated broadcast television stations on various “over-the-top” Internet-based distribution platforms.
The National Football League in negotiating its $18 billion eight-year programming agreements with ABC, CBS and Fox Television, its interactive media rights/online cross-promotion and marketing agreement with AOL, CBS and Sportsline.com, and its international content distribution deal with Yahoo!
We represented the NBA in a multi-year deal to stream live NBA games in virtual reality in a partnership with NextVR, which will become the official live virtual reality partner of the NBA. During the 2016-2017 season, live VR games will first be available to NBA League Pass subscribers, with single-game purchase opportunities to follow for all VR consumers as the NextVR app becomes available on new VR devices.
We represented Pac-12 Networks in its deal with Twitter for streaming of 150 live Olympic sports events from the Pac-12 universities.
Represented Barclays in connection with its acquisition of the naming rights to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for a term of 20 years.
The National Football League in the structuring and negotiation of League “G-3” loans to support construction of new or renovated stadiums for the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, and Seattle Seahawks, and, most recently, in the financing of the new stadium for the New York Jets and Giants and League approvals of the first-of-its-kind joint venture relating to the New Meadowlands Stadium.
D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission in connection with the construction and financing of, and lease arrangements for, a new, state-of-the-art Major League Baseball stadium located in Washington, DC.
The National Football League in its contributions to the repair and renovation of the Superdome in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
April 14, 2017, 6th Annual NYU Sports Law Colloquium
March 30, 2017, Business Forums International Ltd.
March 26, 2017, Law360
February 28, 2017
NEW YORK—Tom Kuhn has joined Covington’s Mergers and Acquisitions practice, and will focus on media and technology transactions. He will be based in the firm’s New York office.
Mr. Kuhn is a seasoned M&A deal maker, with experience both as a lawyer and as a banker. He also advises on corporate governance matters and provides strategic counseling. He has ...
February 27, 2017
WASHINGTON—Law360 has named four Covington practice groups among its “Practice Groups of the Year.”
The practice groups recognized by Law360 are as follows:
February 7, 2017, Law360
Law360 selected Covington’s Sports practice as a “Practice Group of the Year,” profiling the team’s successful representation of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) in an antitrust challenge over its advertising restrictions, involvement in significant deals, and continued representation of the National Football League.
Derek Ludwin, commenting on the USOC case, ...
January 3, 2017
WASHINGTON—Law360 has named six Covington lawyers as MVPs in their respective practice areas. The awards single out lawyers from across various practice areas based on their “success in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters, and record-breaking deals.”
The Covington lawyers recognized as Law360 MVPs are:
Shara Aranoff, International Trade. Ms. ...
December 21, 2016, Law360
Law360 selected Derek Ludwin as a 2016 Sports MVP and profiled his work over the past year, including his defense of the U.S. Olympic Committee against an antitrust challenge to its longtime ban on on-field advertising brought by Olympic runner Nick Symmonds through his company, Run Gum. “This is an organization that a lot of us grew up following. It’s the ...
December 5, 2016
WASHINGTON—SportsBusiness Journal has named Doug Gibson and Gregg Levy to its list of the “50 Most Influential People in Sports Business.” Mr. Gibson and Mr. Levy are two of only four lawyers in private practice on the list, which also includes league commissioners and team owners, broadcast industry and sponsor company CEOs, and other high-profile executives in ...
September 28, 2016, Covington Alert
Provisions of a new French law, adopted on September 28, 2016, will loosen France’s rules around videogaming contests in France, and lay down new labor regulations for professional gamers. For now, clients ought to exercise significant caution before arranging French eSports contests or entering into contracts with professional gamers in France. Even after the ...
June 27, 2016
WASHINGTON—SportsBusiness Journal has named Covington partners Doug Gibson, Gregg Levy, Bruce Wilson, and Peter Zern to the highest tier in its 2016 “Power Players: Outside Counsel” rankings. Included in the SportsBusiness Journal’s “Chairman’s Club,” the Covington team is recognized in the “dominant tier in sports law” because of “a long history in the space” ...
June 7, 2016
WASHINGTON—Covington has again received top rankings from Chambers USA, with 60 practice rankings and 120 individual rankings for lawyers in the publication’s 2016 edition. The legal guide identifies leading lawyers and law firm practices based on interviews conducted by Chambers’ researchers with thousands of lawyers and their clients.
The firm was ranked in ...
April 21, 2016
New York — Law360 has named Covington international arbitration partner David Pinsky a “Rising Star.” This annual recognition honors top attorneys under the age of 40 “whose legal accomplishments belie their age.”
Law360 recognized how Mr. Pinsky, who leads Covington’s arbitration group’s Russia and Eurasia initiative, helped develop the firm’s Russia-focused ...
April 20, 2016
LOS ANGELES — Covington partners Emily Henn, Robyn Polashuk and Sonya Winner have been named to the Daily Journal’s annual list of “Top Women Lawyers” in California. The list recognizes 100 lawyers who “try complex commercial disputes and put together industry-transforming deals.”
Ms. Henn, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley office, co-chairs the firm’s Class ...
April 12, 2016
NEW YORK — Covington advised Turner Sports on the extension of its rights to distribute the NCAA men’s basketball tournament via a partnership with CBS. With the extension in place, Turner and CBS will hold the media rights for “March Madness” through 2032.
The new agreement allows the networks to distribute the tournament games across a wide range of their ...
February 3, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC — Covington assisted the National Football League in negotiating its partnership with CBS and NBC to produce and televise "Thursday Night Football" for the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
In addition to continuing its Thursday Night Football partnership with CBS, the NFL is adding NBC as a partner, with both networks set to air five Thursday Night Football ...
January 28, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC - Law360 has named six Covington practice groups among its “Practice Groups of the Year.”
The practice groups recognized by Law360 are as follows:
January 27, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC - Covington’s Paul Tagliabue has been appointed to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, and Anna Spangler Nelson, a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, were also named to the commission.
The Knight Commission has played an influential and independent role ...
December 22, 2015, Sports Business Daily
Doug Gibson is quoted in this Sports Business Daily article profiling high-ranking sports executives and asking their thoughts on the biggest storylines of 2015. Gibson, who highlights the “continuing proliferation of content distributed solely over-the-top and the continuing growth, particularly within millennials, of ‘cord-cutters’ and ‘cord-nevers,” points to ...
January 27, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC, January 27, 2015 — Covington was named one of the top 2014 “Media and Entertainment Practice Groups of the Year” by Law360.Law360 highlighted the practice for its involvement in “the most-talked-about sports media rights deals last year,” including the NFL's Sunday Ticket agreement with DirecTV, Steve Ballmer’s bid for the Los Angeles Clippers, ...
January 27, 2015, Tax Notes
Covington's Jeremy Spector is profiled in this article on his sports tax practice:
"Jeremy Spector is a different sports fan than most — and with good reason. Spector, 44, an attorney with Covington & Burling LLP in Washington, is the lead tax counsel for Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National ...
WASHINGTON, DC, November 24, 2014 — Law360 named Covington & Burling partner Doug Gibson a “most valuable player” in media and entertainment law. Law360’s “MVP of the Year” awards recognize lawyers who have had successes in record-breaking deals, high-stakes litigation, and complex global matters in the past year. In a profile on Mr. Gibson, Law360 cited his ...
November 21, 2014, Law360
Covington's Doug Gibon was named a Law360 MVP:
"Covington & Burling LLP partner Doug Gibson’s name appears on many high-profile sports industry deals, including this summer’s negotiation of former Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers and the National Football League’s extension on DirecTV’s rights for NFL Sunday ...
October 6, 2014, The American Lawyer
Covington is featured in this article regarding the firm advising the National Basketball Association on a media rights deals with Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc.’s Turner Broadcasting System.
"The agreement comes on the heels of the NFL's renewal of its Sunday Ticket game package with DirecTV last week. Covington counseled its longtime client the NFL on ...
WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 2014 — Covington & Burling represented the National Football League in connection with its recently announced deal to extend DirecTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket in a multi-year agreement. The agreement also extends DirecTV’s rights to stream NFL Sunday Ticket, a package that enables subscribers to view out-of-market ...
June 26, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, June 26, 2014 — The Legal 500 U.S. has ranked Covington & Burling in its top tier in eight practice areas and recognized 23 individual attorneys as “Leading Lawyers” in the directory’s 2014 edition. Additionally, Legal 500 “recommended” 42 Covington practice areas and 153 Covington lawyers. The eight Covington practices given the top tier ranking ...
WASHINGTON, DC, May 30, 2014 — Covington & Burling advised Steve Ballmer on his agreement to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers from The Sterling Family Trust for $2 billion.
"I will be honored to have my name submitted to the NBA board of governors for approval as the next owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. I love basketball," Ballmer said in a statement. "And ...
May 30, 2014, Law360 - 5 Must-Know Facts About Ballmer's $2B Clippers Bid
Covington advised Steve Ballmer on his agreement to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers from The Sterling Family Trust for $2 billion. The firm is mentioned in the above articles regarding the deal. Law360 writes, "Steve Ballmer is represented in the latest deal by a Covington & Burling LLP team led by Doug Gibson, Scott Roades and Peter Zern, including Rob ...
May 16, 2014
WASHINGTON, DC, May 16, 2014 — Covington & Burling’s Paul Tagliabue was recognized by Up2Us with its Legacy Award for his commitment to helping the sports-based youth development organization get off the ground. Mr. Tagliabue helped the non-profit group based in New York secure nonprofit tax status from the IRS in 2010, and continues to support Up2Us with pro ...
May 17, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC, May 17, 2013 — The United States Tennis Association Incorporated and ESPN, Inc. announced a new 11-year broadcast deal Thursday that calls for telecasting the entire US Open exclusively on ESPN networks starting in 2015. Covington & Burling advised the USTA on the transaction. Under the agreement, ESPN will become the exclusive domestic ...
WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2012 — Covington & Burling received 97 first-tier practice rankings in the 2013 “Best Law Firms” survey by U.S. News-Best Lawyers, placing Covington among the top 10 firms nationwide. Covington was also named “Law Firm of the Year” in both FDA Law and Corporate Compliance Law. The honor is presented to one law firm in each of the ...
September 13, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, September 13, 2012 — Best Lawyers in America named seven Covington & Burling lawyers today as “2013 Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas and cities. The selected lawyers received strong ratings from their peers for their “abilities, professionalism and integrity,” in the publication’s annual survey. Best Lawyers recognizes only ...
August 27, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, August 27, 2012 — Covington & Burling LLP lawyers received 196 individual mentions in 57 areas of law in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. This annual compilation of top U.S. lawyers is based on peer-review surveys and is used as a referral guide in the legal profession.
The Covington lawyers recognized are as ...
May 2, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, May 2, 2012 — D.C. Super Lawyers selected 64 Covington & Burling lawyers for its 2012 list of top legal talent. Super Lawyers selects no more than five percent of the total lawyers who practice in Washington based on peer review and the publication’s independent research.
Deborah Garza and Robert Long have been named among the “Top 100” for ...
April 16, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, April 16, 2012 — Covington & Burling is pleased to announce the promotion of one lawyer to of counsel and five lawyers to special counsel, effective April 1, 2012.
Wendy Feng (San Francisco), the new of counsel, represents policyholders in insurance coverage cases in state and federal courts. She provides strategic claims-related advice and has ...
April 13, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, April 13, 2012 — Covington & Burling advised Tom Benson, the longtime owner of the New Orleans Saints, in his purchase of the New Orleans Hornets for an undisclosed sum. The purchase and related agreements were finalized this week. Closing is expected before the end of June.
“I am very grateful to Bruce Wilson and the Covington team,” Mr. ...
March 13, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, March 13, 2012 — Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal has named Covington & Burling LLP partner Peter Zern a recipient of its “Forty Under 40” award. The annual list honors the best and brightest executives in the sports business industry under the age of 40, and is described by the publication as the most coveted award in sports business. ...
December 15, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, December 15, 2011 — Covington advised the National Football League in negotiating nine-year extensions of its Sunday broadcast television packages with CBS, FOX and NBC networks.
The NFL owners voted to approve the package of TV deals with FOX, CBS and NBC on Wednesday. The new agreements, announced yesterday, run through the 2022 season, and ...
December 7, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, December 7, 2011 — The BIG EAST Conference announced today that it has reached an agreement for the admission of five new members. Covington & Burling represented the BIG EAST in its negotiations with each of the five schools.
Under the agreements, University of Central Florida, University of Houston and Southern Methodist University will begin ...
November 30, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, November 30, 2011 — Washingtonian magazine has named 34 Covington & Burling attorneys as “Best Lawyers” in its December issue. The biennial list, compiled by the magazine’s editorial staff, identifies leading lawyers in the Washington area.
Of the approximately 800 “Best Lawyers” identified in the issue, Washingtonian included profiles of 31 ...
November 1, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, November 1, 2011 — For the second consecutive year, U.S. News-Best Lawyers awarded Covington & Burling the most first-tier practice rankings for Washington, DC in the “Best Law Firms” survey. The 2011-12 survey also awarded the firm 82 first-tier practice rankings, placing Covington among the top 20 firms nationwide.
Additionally, U.S. ...
October 5, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, October 5, 2011 — Best Lawyers named eight Covington & Burling lawyers as the “2012 Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas and cities. According to Best Lawyers, the selected lawyers have received particularly strong ratings in the Best Lawyers' survey by earning a high level of respect among their peers for their “abilities, ...
September 9, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, September 9, 2011 — The National Football League has announced that it has entered into a new eight-year agreement with ESPN providing for Monday Night Football, the most successful series in sports media history, to remain on ESPN through the 2021 NFL season. The broad multiplatform agreement, which begins in 2014, includes eight full seasons of ...
September 7, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, September 7, 2011 — Covington & Burling LLP lawyers received 184 individual mentions in 56 areas of law in the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. This annual compilation of top US lawyers is based on peer-review surveys and is used as a referral guide in the legal profession.
The Covington lawyers recognized are as follows: ...
August 22, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, August 22, 2011 — Zuffa LLC, parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Fox have agreed to a seven-year broadcast deal that will distribute live and taped mixed martial arts programming across the broadcast network's multiple television platforms beginning in January 2012. Covington & Burling LLP advised UFC on the transaction. The ...
June 10, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, June 10, 2011 — Covington & Burling LLP received 123 individual mentions and 45 practice mentions in Chambers USA 2011. The guidebook, which ranks lawyers by state and national practice area, is designed to identify the most skilled legal practitioners based on the qualities most valued by clients.
Here are the Covington lawyers and practices ...
January 24, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, January 24, 2011 — The University of Texas at Austin, ESPN and UT Athletics' multimedia rights partner IMG College have announced a 20-year agreement to create what soon will be the nation's largest 24-hour television network dedicated to covering a university's intercollegiate athletics, music, cultural arts and academic programs. Covington ...
LONDON, December 16, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP has been named the "Sports, Media & Entertainment Team of the Year 2010" by Intellectual Property Magazine in recognition of the firm’s contribution to promoting and protecting the sports and entertainment-related IP rights of its clients. The award recognises Covington’s work over the past year, which has ...
November 16, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, November 16, 2010 — Four Covington & Burling LLP lawyers have been recognized as the "2011 Lawyer of the Year" in their respective practice areas by The Best Lawyers in America. Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored.
The Covington lawyers recognized for this honor are:
Jonathan Blake, Washington Communications ...
September 23, 2010
BEIJING, September 23, 2010 — A range of attendees from the media, sports, and entertainment industries were on hand as Covington & Burling LLP’s Beijing office co-hosted “The Big Event: The New Technologies of Media and Sports” symposium. The half-day event, held on September 21, focused on the use of cutting-edge production, broadcasting, exhibition, and home ...
September 17, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, September 17, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP received 33 first-tier practice rankings in the 2010 “Best Law Firms” survey by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers. Covington’s first-tier national rankings place it among the top 10 firms nationwide and at the top of the first-tier rankings for Washington, DC.
The inaugural rankings presented in ...
September 8, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, September 8, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP partner Peter Zern has been named to Washington Business Journal’s “40 Under 40.” The list recognizes the Washington region's brightest young business leaders based on demonstrated business success.
At Covington, Mr. Zern advises many of the firm’s sports clients on media transactions, finance, and ...
August 6, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, August 6, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP received 138 individual mentions in 40 areas of law in the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. This annual compilation of top US lawyers is based on peer-review surveys and is used as a referral guide in the legal profession.
The Covington lawyers recognized are as follows:
July 15, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, July 15, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce the signing of a Purchase Agreement for the sale of the Golden State Warriors, the NBA franchise based in Oakland, California, to an investor group led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Managing Partner Joe Lacob and Mandalay Entertainment Group Chairman Peter Guber. The sale price ...
June 16, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, June 16, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP received 112 individual mentions and 44 practice mentions in Chambers USA 2010. The guidebook, which ranks lawyers by state and national practice area, is designed to identify the most skilled legal practitioners based on the qualities most valued by clients.
Here are the Covington lawyers and practices ...
April 23, 2010
WASHINGTON, DC, April 23, 2010 — The NCAA has announced a new 14-year television and new media rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., to present the Division I Men's Basketball Championship beginning in 2011 through 2024 for total rights fees of approximately $10.8 billion. As part of the agreement, all games will be shown live ...
August 7, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC, August 7, 2009 — Covington & Burling LLP received 131 individual mentions in 38 areas of law in the 2010 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. This annual compilation of top US lawyers is based on peer-review surveys and is used as a referral guide in the legal profession.
The Covington lawyers recognized are as follows:
June 12, 2009
WASHINGTON, DC, June 12, 2009 — Covington & Burling LLP received 100 individual mentions and 40 practice mentions in Chambers USA 2009. The guidebook, which ranks lawyers by state and national practice area, is designed to identify the most skilled legal practitioners based on the qualities most valued by clients.
Here are the Covington lawyers and practices ...
LONDON, June 9, 2009 — An enhanced version of the world’s first data protection standard for athletes took effect on June 1, 2009. The International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information took effect on January 1, 2009, and an enhanced version was unanimously approved in early May 2009 by the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping ...
WASHINGTON, DC, March 27, 2009 — For the second straight year, Covington & Burling LLP partner Peter Zern has been named to Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty Under 40.” The 10th annual list honors the best and brightest executives in the sports business industry under the age of 40, and is described by the publication as the most coveted award in ...
September 29, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC, September 29, 2008 — Covington & Burling LLP received 124 individual mentions in 40 areas of law in the 2009 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. This annual compilation of top US lawyers is based on peer-review surveys and is used as a referral guide in the legal profession. The Covington lawyers recognized are as follows:
WASHINGTON, DC, May 12, 2008 — The USTA, ESPN and Tennis Channel today announced a groundbreaking six-year television and multi-platform partnership creating a summer-long “Open Season” for tennis featuring more than 400 national television hours for the US Open and the Olympus US Open Series. Covington & Burling LLP advised the USTA on the ...
WASHINGTON, DC, March 3, 2008 — Covington & Burling LLP partner Peter Zern has been named to Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal’s “Forty Under 40” Class of 2008, described by the publication as the most coveted award in sports business. The annual list, which first appeared in 1999, honors the best and brightest executives in the sports business industry ...
WASHINGTON, DC, November 30, 2007 — Nineteen Covington & Burling LLP attorneys are recognized as “Top Lawyers” in the December 2007 issue of Washingtonian magazine. The list, compiled by the magazine’s editorial staff based on peer recommendations, identifies leading lawyers in the Greater Washington area. Of the “Top Lawyers,” Washingtonian identified 30 as the ...
WASHINGTON, DC, October 10, 2007 — A court-appointed special master ruled yesterday in favor of the Atlanta Falcons and the NFL Management Council in connection with the Falcons’ attempt to recover more than $19 million in bonus money paid to now-suspended quarterback Michael Vick. Special Master Stephen B. Burbank, professor at the University of Pennsylvania ...
WASHINGTON, DC, October 1, 2007 — Covington & Burling LLP announced that six of its associates have been elected to the firm’s partnership, effective today. Stuart Stock, chair of the firm’s management committee, commented, “These six outstanding men and women are representative of Covington’s depth and excellence. We are pleased to welcome them to our ...
September 6, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC, September 6, 2007 — Covington & Burling LLP received 115 individual mentions in 38 areas of law in the 2008 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. This annual compilation of top US lawyers is based on peer-review surveys and is used as a referral guide in the legal profession. The recipients are as follows:
Administrative: E. Edward Bruce and ...
June 18, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC, June 18, 2007 — Covington & Burling LLP received 44 practice mentions and 74 individual mentions in the newly released 2007 Chambers USA guidebook. The 2007 edition of Chambers USA attempts to identify the most skilled legal practitioners throughout the country based on the qualities most valued by clients. Covington attorneys have been ...
Spring 2007, PanStadia
March 8, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC, March 8, 2007 — Major League Baseball announced the launch of the MLB Channel today in connection with its seven-year agreement with DIRECTV to carry the MLB EXTRA INNINGS subscription package of out-of-market games. DIRECTV will be a minority partner in the MLB Channel, and will work with MLB to develop the new network. Scheduled to launch in ...
January 19, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC, January 19, 2007 — Barclays has announced that it will pay an undisclosed amount for naming rights to the new Barclays Center located in Brooklyn, New York for a term of 20 years. Covington & Burling LLP advised Barclays on the transaction.The new Barclays Center is the core feature of the Frank Gehry designed $4 billion Atlantic Yards ...
June 5, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC, June 5, 2006 - Fifty Covington & Burling lawyers practicing in 27 fields and in each of the firm's US offices were recognized as "leaders in their field" in this year's edition of Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers. The 2006 edition of Chambers USA, which was released June 2, 2006, attempts to identify the most skilled legal ...
May 25, 2006
LONDON, May 25, 2006 - Kangaroo Media Inc. and Formula One Management Limited announced yesterday that they have entered into a six-year licence agreement to provide fans at all Formula OneTM events with access to live race video, audio and data on Kangaroo Media's unique Kangaroo TVTM hand-held device. Covington & Burling's team that advised Kangaroo Media was ...
October 3, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2005 - Covington & Burling announced the election of ten new partners, effective October 1. Stuart Stock, chair of the firm's management committee, commented: "These exceptional lawyers reflect the strength, excellence and diversity of the firm, and the continuing growth of our practices across the firm." Covington's newest partners ...
September 13, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 13, 2005 - Forty-six Covington & Burling lawyers practicing in 27 fields were recognized in the 2006 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The number of Covington lawyers listed increased by over 40% from the last edition. This biennial compilation of top U.S. lawyers is based on peer-review surveys and is used as a referral guide ...
May 27, 2005
Washington, D.C., June 28, 2005 - Twenty-nine Covington & Burling lawyers practicing in fourteen fields and in each of the firm's U.S. offices were recognized as "leaders in their field" in this year's edition of Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers. The 2005 edition of Chambers USA, which was released online earlier today, attempts to identify the ...
April 19, 2005
Negotiations Culminate in NBC Return to NFL Broadcaster Lineup; Monday Night Football Moving to ESPN with Earlier Kickoff; Sunday Afternoon Partners CBS and FOX Renewing Agreements
Washington, DC, April 19, 2005 -- A team of Covington & Burling lawyers advised the NFL in the strategic planning, development, negotiation and implementation of the League's ...
February 24, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 24, 2005 - The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District entered an important ruling yesterday in favor of Covington & Burling's client, the National Football League, in a $1.2 billion lawsuit brought by the Oakland Raiders. Yesterday's ruling reinstated the verdict of a Superior Court jury that, after 11 weeks of ...
September 29, 2004
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 29, 2004 - Covington & Burling represented the D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission in its agreement announced this afternoon to relocate Major League Baseball's Montreal Expos to Washington.
The D.C. Sports & Entertainment Commission, together with the Government of the District of Columbia, today entered into a baseball stadium ...
2004, DePaul University Journal of Sports Law Annual Winter Symposium
October 3, 2002
October 3, 2002 - WASHINGTON, D.C. - Covington & Burling announced that eight attorneys have been elected to the partnership, effective October 1, 2002. New partners in Covington's Litigation Practice include Georgia Kazakis and Edward H. Rippey. Michael S. Labson is a new partner in the firm's Food and Drug and Life Sciences Practices. Erin M. Egan and Jennifer ...
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