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Entertainment Finance

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"Matheson’s well-established practice has particular strength in film and television production, film financing, animation and music licensing."
European Legal 500 

Matheson has one of Ireland’s most active Entertainment law practices whose dedicated team members work exclusively on a daily basis in the areas of film and television and across the other sectors that comprise the creative industries.

A principal focus of the practice is feature film and television financing which includes representation of major lenders providing industry finance.

Matheson represents producers, lenders, financiers, distributors and others with respect to facilities to fund the production and distribution of feature films, television shows and other entertainment projects, including multiple party financings, equity investments, gap-financing, discounting, security and completion bond arrangements.

We have vast experience of complex international financing activity including pan-European co-production deals as well as particular specialist expertise in negotiating facilities against Ireland’s tax credit for film production.

The team provides production and content advice to producers, broadcasters, networks and studios producing content in Ireland for international distribution. Our expertise includes contracting the necessary underlying rights and talent, providing the entire range of general production counsel services and extends to pre and post publication content and clearance advices including with regard to errors and omissions insurance requirements.

Our Team

Our dedicated Entertainment Finance team is led by one partner.

Experience Highlights

Representative transactions include:

Recent Feature Film Production

  • Pilgrimage, starring Tom Holland  (released 2017).
  • The Rhythm Section, produced by Barbara Broccoli and starring Blake Lively (2017 / 2018).
  • The Breadwinner (nominated for Academy Award for best animated feature in 2018).

We acted for the producers or the Irish co-producers, advising on the financing and contractual aspects of the production including production loan facilities, Section 481 tax financing, funding from the Irish Film Board, domestic and international broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, completion guaranty arrangements as well as contracting the talent.

Recent Television Work

  • 5 Series of the successful Irish drama production Love/Hate.
  • 3 Seasons of Penny Dreadful produced for Showtime Networks Inc. (we also acted on 4 seasons of the Tudors and 3 seasons of The Borgias produced for Showtime).
  • 6 Seasons of The Vikings produced for MGM Television and History Channel.
  • Into the Badlands produced for AMC TV.

We have also advised Irish producers who have entered into co-production agreements with Australian, French and German co-producers who are funded by broadcasters in those territories.

Music and Live Entertainment

We advised the producers of Riverdance The Show and the composer of the music for Lord of the Dance. We act for a number of the Irish copyright collection societies.

Talent Advice and Representation

We advise on rights arrangements in relation to creative talent involved in audio and audio-visual work including individual producers, directors, writers, rights owners, book publishing houses, actors and music composers, TV presenters and content service providers, particularly when dealing with broadcasters, financiers, publishers and distributors of their works.