Rachael Astin represents clients in transactional and regulatory work relating to the Entertainment, Sports & Media (ESM) sectors, with a particular focus on digital media and content distribution.

Ms. Astin has more than a decade of experience guiding entertainment, sports, and media clients including film studios, production companies, broadcasters, other content owners and distributors, digital platforms, sports organizations, and investors of all sizes on:

  • Complex rights licensing deals, including distribution arrangements, media rights agreements, content commissioning and production, sponsorship and brand management, and other core ESM commercial agreements 
  • New media sector digital ventures and strategic joint ventures
  • Commercial aspects of media sector mergers and acquisitions, investments, and private equity
  • Media and platform regulatory advice relating to digital, broadcast, and advertising
  • General copyright advice relevant to the ESM sector

She leverages extensive knowledge of a broad range of media sub-sectors— including TV, film, sports, publishing, advertising, video games, and music— to help clients keep up with rapidly-evolving market trends, and futureproof their businesses. Ms. Astin has broad and deep knowledge of rights ownership, distribution, and content monetization that allows her to effectively advise clients on complex transactions across the spectrum of ESM.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Astin worked in a leading international media and technology practice. She has previously worked in the Middle East, having spent 18 months in Dubai, working with the technology, media, and telecommunications team of the largest law firm in the region.

Ms. Astin maintains an active pro bono practice, leveraging her sector expertise, focused on content commissioning, production, and the structuring and launch of new ventures, such as advising Global Citizen on the licensing of its live music concert during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Astin’s recent experience includes representing:

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • DAZN in connection with its bid for the BT Sport TV business
  • KKR on its US$1.1 billion acquisition of Kobalt Capital’s music rights portfolio
  • Northleaf on its strategic alliance with Lyric Capital Group
  • Moonbug Entertainment Limited, a digital-first children’s entertainment company on its acquisition of Cocomelon, the most-viewed YouTube channel in the US, and Supa Strikas
  • Crossroads Live, Inc. on its investment into Tremendous Entertainment, a Malaysian-based producer and presenter of entertainment content in the South East Asia region
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment on its acquisition of Silvergate Media, a developer of children’s brands for broadcasters, streamers and retail partners (including the Octonauts and Peter Rabbit)
  • Netflix on its acquisition of Millarworld— the comic book company behind Kick-Ass, Kingsman, and Old Man Logan— in Netflix’s first-ever company acquisition
  • An investment into a major music streaming service
  • ITV on its acquisition of The Garden Productions, So Television, and Big Talk*
  • A leading international advertising agency on its investment in a digital-first talent management company*
  • Ministry of Sound Recordings on its acquisition by Sony Music UK*

Media & Entertainment Commercial Work

  • Savvy Gaming Group (a games and esports company) on various commercial agreements
  • A leading Middle East media company on various TV and digital media projects internationally
  • A video game developer on a major AAA title video game development deal
  • LifeScore, a music technology start-up, since its early days of operations, including on various third party integrations, such as the use of LifeScore’s technology with Twitch’s “Artificial” program
  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Sport on its agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for WWE events exclusively in MENA and in connection with music concerts at live sports events
  • Various clients on brand ambassador and endorsement arrangements with talent
  • Screenplay Bumilangit on its deal with Disney+
  • A leading subscription video on demand (SVOD) service on its output arrangements with major US studios and independents*
  • A leading US entertainment company on its output arrangements with numerous VOD and pay TV platforms*
  • Various major UK channel groups on their channel carriage arrangements with Sky and Virgin Media*
  • BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide) on complex program licensing and JV arrangements

Sports Commercial Work

  • DAZN on its exclusive media rights agreement with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to broadcast the next eight seasons of the AFC Champions League
  • Meta on its appointment as sponsor of the Rugby World Cup France 2023
  • Formula E in respect of arrangements with its teams, manufacturers, and sponsors
  • Buzzer Media Inc., a sports content app, on its media rights deal for NHL games
  • IMG and Endeavor on various matters
  • SAFF on its bid to host the Asia Football Cup 2027

Strategic Joint Ventures and Company Formation

  •  A Middle East investor on a joint venture with a major international digital media company
  • Parkwood Entertainment (Beyoncé’s multimedia company) in connection with intellectual property protection and licensing matters
  • Leading TV drama producers on the establishment of an independent production company*

Regulatory Advice

  • Snap, Inc. in relation to compliance with the EU Copyright Directive
  • Various production companies, broadcasters, and digital media services in connection with strategic business matters and regulatory advice on EU Digital Single Market matters, the EU Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) Directive, and the UK Ofcom Broadcasting Code
  • A major sports body on content and regulatory matters in the context of its launch of a new digital content platform*

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

Thought Leadership

  • Client training and articles on the European Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy

Bar Qualification

  • England and Wales (Solicitor)

Education

  • LPC, BPP Law School, 2008
  • LLB Law, University of Bristol, 2007

Languages Spoken

  • English