About Michael S. Hobel

Michael Hobel is recognized as a leading authority in the legal profession on entertainment transactions across digital, television and film. Described by clients as "a tremendous thought partner who provides practical, sophisticated advice," Michael is trusted by entertainment and media companies to represent them on deals involving some of the entertainment industry’s most successful properties for more than 25 years.

A leading dealmaker in the entertainment and media industry

As the head of Katten's Entertainment and Media practice, Michael has extensive experience representing entertainment and media companies in complex transactions involving valuable entertainment and intellectual property rights and assets. Chambers USA reports that clients call him "incredibly effective in driving deals to closure and note his superb overall legal and business expertise." Michael's clients include motion picture studios, free, pay and cable television networks, streaming services, Internet and digital media companies, production and distribution companies, financiers, video game companies, rights holders and investors. Michael also advises industry executives on employment contracts, individual talent on agreements for their services on film, television and music products, and companies on management and protection of their trademark and copyright assets.

Michael's work relates to all stages of development, production and exploitation of entertainment product. Michael is particularly interested in deals that involve the convergence of entertainment and technology, and he has represented some of the most innovative companies in deals that break new ground in deal structures and business models that have enabled his clients to be first movers in entertainment development, production and delivery.

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Practice Focus

  • Streaming and other digital media transactions
  • Scripted and unscripted television development, production, licensing and distribution
  • Theatrical motion picture development, production and distribution
  • Purchase and sale transactions and strategic joint ventures involving entertainment and IP assets
  • Talent and rights agreements
  • Motion picture and television finance and secured transactions
  • Trademark and copyright matters

Representative Experience

  • Represent major television syndication company in television series business.
  • Represent international media company in many major entertainment and multimedia transactions and ventures in the United States. Includes successful $500 million tender offer for publicly held entertainment company and sale of Silicon Valley multimedia company.
  • Represent major motion picture studio in theatrical motion picture and television series production and distribution matters.
  • Represent video game company in acquisition of video game development company and interactive games rights to a motion picture franchise property.
  • Represent national pay television network in motion picture and series finance, production and licensing matters relating to wide variety of projects.
  • Represent video game company in video game development, production and exploitation matters.
  • Represent owner of newspaper, magazine and media properties in entertainment and licensing matters.
  • Represent diversified entertainment company in proposed acquisition of a major motion picture studio.
  • Represent leading reality television production company in production of network reality television series.
  • Represent major independent television production company in television movie, mini-series and series businesses over the last 15 years.
  • Represented leading sports organization in acquisition and exploitation of exclusive broadcast rights to soccer World Cup in 2002 and 2006.
  • Represent professional sports league and its licensing operation on motion picture and television projects.
  • Represent Spanish-language television network in joint venture and technology transactions, sports and other program licensing, and production matters.
  • Represent national basic cable network in numerous development, production and licensing matters.
  • Represent leading toy company in variety of licensing and technology matters. Also advise with respect to exploitation of client's highly successful home video product based on its key properties.
  • Represent major motion picture studio in variety of matters, including a long-term international home video services agreement for its motion picture library.