As partner in the Sports Group and co-chair of Proskauer’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group, Freeman plays a pivotal role in the content consumers view today. He leads a team of attorneys representing a wide-range of clients, including Hulu, Altice USA, NFL Media and Discovery. His work included advising Hulu on the launch of its live TV service. Like many other attorneys on the list, he’s keeping close watch on the DOJ’s challenge of the AT&T-Time Warner merger. “Which side ultimately prevails in the case is likely to have a wide-reaching impact on the media industry,” he says.
What have been the most important legal issues in communications for you in the past year?
Certainly, the legal development that I (along with many or most) in the industry are following is the DOJ’s challenge to the AT&T – Time Warner merger. Which side ultimately prevails in the case is likely to have a wide-reaching impact on the media industry.
What is your golden rule for negotiating?
Be nice. It never pays to be the jerk on the other side of the table – it does not help your client and it doesn’t help get the deal done.
If you could be remembered for just one case, which case would that be and why?
Though I focus on transactional matters, in 2011, I represented Armstrong in a proceeding against Root Sports (then known as DirecTV Sports) Pittsburgh pursuant to the arbitration procedures set forth in the Liberty Media Order (which was put in place when Liberty Media acquired DirecTV and three of the Fox regional sports networks from News Corp). At issue was the value of the sports and other programming rights held by Root Sports Pittsburgh. The matter took that issue out of the negotiating room and into an arbitration room in front of a neutral party. We prevailed in the arbitration and, ultimately, before the Media Bureau and the full Commission on appeal. It was an incredibly interesting and rewarding (albeit exhausting) experience for me.
What movie superhero would you most like to be and how would that character fit into the legal world of communications?
Plastic man because in this ever changing media world one needs to be flexible!