Michael D. Nilsson

Partner


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Michael Nilsson has solved problems for clients in the media industry and elsewhere for more than twenty years.  He represents these clients before the FCC, Congress, DOJ, the U.S. Copyright Office, and foreign regulators—as well as in commercial negotiations.

Mr. Nilsson has been recognized by Chambers USA for his work in the in telecom, broadcast & satellite fields.  A client described him as “simply one of the smartest lawyers that I know” and that “he’s the one I would most trust to represent me when the stakes are high.”  Mr. Nilsson has also been recognized by Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for his work in communications and copyright law.

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Media industry coalition. Acts as lead counsel for a coalition including some of the largest pay-TV providers seeking relief from “retransmission consent” fees demanded by television stations.
  • Media industry trade association. Represents trade association of small- and medium-sized cable operators in a wide range of media proceedings at the FCC and before Congress, including a successful opposition to the largest proposed broadcast merger in history.
  • Large television distributor. Helped the largest U.S. satellite television provider navigate dozens of FCC rulemakings, successfully obtain regulatory authorization for numerous mergers and acquisitions, lobby for reauthorization of key legislation governing the company’s operations, and prosecute anti-piracy matters in Latin America.
  • Public media organization. Assists a public media entity in acquiring and licensing hundreds of programs, both domestically and internationally.
  • International cable operator. Represents a client in the purchase of, management of, and ultimate sale of a cable operator with systems in multiple Caribbean jurisdictions.
  • Communications companies. Represents non-media communications companies in the full range of FCC matters.
  • Nonprofits and startups. Negotiates commercial deals and provides a broad range of counseling and compliance advice, including “general counsel-like” services.

Mr. Nilsson was the principal telecommunications and technology legal adviser to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV.

Mr. Nilsson served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Sitar Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education center, where he also teaches saxophone. He also has served on the Board of Directors of Brown Broadcasting Service.



Practices

Education

Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., magna cum laude

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., with high honors

Recognitions

Chambers USA, 2018: “Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite”

Best Lawyers in America, 2019: “Communications Law” and “Copyright Law”

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