Desser Media, Inc.

Sports Media Specialists: Leveling The Playing Field

Founded in 2005, Desser Sports Media, Inc. advises premiere sports and media organizations on some of the most important parts of their business: Media Rights, M&A, Litigation/Arbitration, and Business Development.

A primary focus for DSM is media rights transactions, which are highly technical, infrequently negotiated, and ultimately hugely important to a team’s or league’s bottom line and brand.  Teams and leagues contend with the savvy of Fortune 500 media companies that routinely acquire rights, have dedicated specialized staff, and have developed myriad of defenses to thwart owners from achieving fair value.  

We have specific and unique experience in this area, which permits us to “level the playing field.” Our clients get the benefit of our collective 100+ years of sports and media experience, our extensive relationships, our deep understanding of the operations and perspectives of networks, distributors, teams and leagues, plus our up to the minute knowledge of the sports media marketplace. 

We provide this range of services to the full spectrum of sports media participants ranging from content owners to networks/intermediaries, and distributors/retailers.  We are independent and we supply comprehensive and detailed analysis, advice and negotiation services, as well as dispute resolution support. 

We encourage you to explore this site, to learn more about our services and approach, and contact us to determine if we can be of assistance.  

20 Key Sports Media Rights Issues:  How Do You Get What You Deserve From Your TV Rights Deal? 


A media rights negotiation presents a momentous opportunity to position your business for long-term competitive success. How do you harness the tectonic shifts that propel change, shape the ecosystem and fuel the industry to maximize your opportunity?  Like any great result, meticulous preparation is the key.  Desser Media, Inc.will help you solve your unique TV rights puzzle by starting with a foundation built on answering 20 critical questions like these with and for you:

  1. Value Metrics:  What do you deserve for your rights? What is the Fair Market Value of your rights in today’s market? What recent transactions are appropriate comparables?
  2. Value Drivers:  What are the key drivers and variables that establish the value of your rights?  What can you do to affect them?
  3. Bonuses/Growth rates:  Should your agreement contain high or low growth rates during the term?  What is the current range in the marketplace?  Should you ask for signing and/or performance bonuses?  What kind of deal-over-deal increases can you expect?
  4. Competitors:  What alternatives exist to your current distributor?  What are the pros and cons?  Which potential partner might be best suited to your organization?  What are the real risks to changing partners, and how much risk are you prepared to accept?  How would a 3rd-party (other than your existing rights holder) obtain value from your rights?
  5. Network Priorities:  What are the critical success factors for a national or RSN network business?  What new initiatives and/or rights are networks looking for in today’s market?
  6. Profitability:  How profitable is the network you currently do business with?  What are the key drivers of its bottom line and how do your rights contribute to it? 
  7. Industry Trends:  What are the impacts of megatrends like “Over the Top”, “Cord Cutters/Shavers/Nevers” and “TV Everywhere” on the value of your rights?  How does industry consolidation affect the marketplace for your rights?
  8. New Network Dynamics:  What are the considerations for starting your own network (an RSN or league-branded platform) and/or distributing your games in a non-traditional method?  Should you partner or go it alone?  What are the implications for distribution?
  9. Geography:  How does your team territory impact your decision? What territories do other teams in your market have? How many subscribers can you access? What happens to the value of your rights as distance increases? What league assessments are applicable?
  10. Exclusivity/Programming Allocation:  What are the benefits and value of exclusivity?  What is your optimal game/programming allocation between platforms (over-the-air, cable network, broadband) or another platform (e.g., an alliance with an MVPD or retailer) in your market?
  11. Control:  How important is it to control the production of your content?  Sponsorship/ad sales?  Scheduling?  What are the trades-offs?  What alternatives are there which maximize control while minimizing risk?
  12. Non-financial Terms:  What non-financial benefits are provided by your current agreement? What is lacking?  How can your media deal better help to build your brand and market your franchise?  What non-financial elements have others obtained in their TV agreements?
  13. Business Integration:  How should your TV arrangement integrate with your sponsorship and ticket sales, PR, digital platforms and other important business initiatives?
  14. Insurance:  What protections are important to you in a new deal? Reopeners? Resets? Options? Prioritization? MFNs?
  15. Parameters:  What is the current state of league rules applicable to media agreement?
  16. Term/Backend Rights:  What length deal term should you consider?  What are the implications?  What renewal/extension rights does your existing deal contain and how will they impact your negotiation strategy?  What backend rights are optimal/acceptable to you in a new agreement?  What are the risks and benefits associated with the options?
  17. Marketing/Promotion:  What opportunities are available from a media agreement to maximize fan engagement with your brand and foster better awareness of your product?
  18. Programming:  What kinds of non-game programming commitments can you obtain in a media rights negotiation? What are best practices, and how can these be valued?
  19. Grant of Rights:  What elements should you include and exclude in your media rights agreement?  What scope will a third party insist upon? What rights should you reserve? How can you increase the value of your rights package, while protecting your future opportunities?
  20. Timing:  When should you start preparations and negotiations?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of negotiating a new deal “early?”  How long should the process take?       

DMI’s unique passion for solving puzzles through our deep understanding of the hopes and dreams and goals, motivations, risk tolerance and context that drive an entire enterprise, along with the critical insights that come from our extraordinary expertise, experience and excellence, ensure you a custom tailored solution that will maximize your results.

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