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Business Law

Business Law News 2019, ISSUE 1

Distribution Deals: License, Monetize, Repeat

Jeremy M. Evans

Jeremy M. Evans is the Founder & Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer®, representing entertainment, media, and sports clientele. Evans is an award-winning attorney and community leader based in Los Angeles. He can be reached at Jeremy@CSLlegal.com.

As a general matter, content creators would like to sell rights to distribute their content to multiple parties on multiple platforms, so as to increase revenue from various sales and transactions. On the other side of the negotiation table, licensees, distributors, and the like ("distributors") would prefer to own, license, or control more content for a lesser price, with an opt-out when the content is no longer selling (e.g., fewer eyes viewing content). These principles hold true for both live sports and entertainment content.

The balance between creator and distributor is decided in the negotiation, and the result is a distribution deal. Before we break down the essential elements of a distribution deal for entertainment, media, and sports content, we need to answer two questions: First, what is a distribution right? Second, what is a distribution deal?

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