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We have significant expertise providing economic analysis across a wide variety of issues involving the media industry. Our experience spans antitrust, intellectual property, and regulatory matters, where we apply economic tools to complicated issues of value and value creation in this copyright-based sector.

Recent engagements include evaluating the economic implications of acquisitions in the television and news industries, evaluating claims of antitrust violations and other anticompetitive behavior, and presenting analyses estimating the value of music and television programming licensing before regulatory bodies. Our clients include media companies, content owners and other rightsholders, and trade associations.

Engagements
REPRESENTATIVE ENGAGEMENTS

Below is a list of representative engagements for our Media & Entertainment practice.

Determination of License Fees for Satellite Radio

The Brattle Group was retained by Counsel for SoundExchange, a performing rights organization that collects and distributes royalty payments on behalf of record labels and recording artists, in a proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Board to determine the license fee that SiriusXM Satellite Radio will pay for the right to broadcast sound recordings from 2018 through 2022. A Brattle team worked with academic survey experts to develop and analyze evidence on the degree to which satellite radio and streaming music services are viewed as substitutes for one another. We assisted attorneys from Jenner & Block in preparing for taking depositions and cross-examining SiriusXM’s survey experts, which played a key role in the determination of the royalty rate.

Programming negotiation
A Brattle principal supported a major content producer in re-negotiating a programming contract with a major Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD). Part of this engagement included reviewing and analyzing terms of multiple programming contracts.
Music licensing
Economists at The Brattle Group have performed analysis in numerous matters involving music licensing. We have worked on behalf of major music performing rights organizations, such as BMI, SESAC, and SoundExchange, to estimate the appropriate value of licenses for music used on broadcast television, terrestrial and satellite radio, and streaming music services. Our analyses have included evaluating past and forecasted industry growth, benchmarking against comparable licenses, and conducting surveys to evaluate consumer behavior.
Breach of contract
A Brattle principal was retained by Showtime Network, part of Viacom, who alleged that a distributor of in-room programing to the lodging industry breached its contract to distribute the network to hotels and motels. We calculated the damages Showtime sustained as a result of the alleged breach. Our expert filed a report and the case was settled prior to trial on terms favorable to Showtime.
Discovery v. Sky Angel
A Brattle principal analyzed, on behalf of Discovery Communications in a District Court proceeding, lost profit claims from programing contract termination.
Analysis of the Boston 2024 proposed Summer Olympic plans

Brattle economists prepared a report for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of the Governor of Massachusetts, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House evaluating Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The report detailed the components of the bid, tested its assumptions to examine potential risks, evaluated who would have borne the responsibility if any adverse risks had been realized, and estimated the potential economic impacts of the Olympic Games on the Commonwealth.

Major League Baseball Players Association

Provide economic analytic support for the MLBPA, including in negotiating the Collective Bargaining Agreement, pension oversight and industry trends.

Laumann v. NHL and Lerner v. MLB

Two classes of Plaintiffs challenged league rules that establish exclusive market territories for television broadcasting of live games. On behalf of the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball, Brattle expert Daniel McFadden provided testimony at a Daubert and class certification hearing concerning the structural econometric model proffered by the Plaintiffs’ expert for estimation of damages from the vertical restraints imposed by the sports leagues on the broadcast rights to the league games. The Court granted Daubert in part in a decision that frequently refers to the testimony of Professor McFadden.

Antitrust suit against the NFL
In an antitrust case involving a claim that the National Football League and its teams exercised monopoly power over the cities where teams are located, a Brattle economist has experience evaluating issues of market definition and market power. The case involved claims that an NFL team and the league exerted market power by threatening to move unless the host region spent hundreds of millions of dollars to publicly finance a new stadium.
UMG Recordings, et al. v. Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., et al.

The Brattle Group was retained by a large record company and a major music publisher in a copyright infringement case involving claims that a firm that provides in-flight entertainment programming to airlines included unlicensed audio content. We evaluated the extent of the claims of infringed content, and estimated the revenue and profits associated with the infringed content. Following summary judgment rulings, the parties agreed to settle the case for a sum close to our expert’s damages estimate.

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