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Variety: Eastern Players Shape Showbiz

September 25, 2018

The co-chairs of O’Melveny's sports industry group, Chuck Baker, Jared Bartie, and Irwin Raij were named to Variety’s Dealmakers Elite New York 2018,” which recognizes the attorneys and executives behind the most significant transactions in the entertainment industry. “The New York-based trio believe that the boom in sports—in which they specialize—has plenty of legs. Raij points out that media rights escalate, benefitting from advertisers coveting live TV viewership, newly legalized sports gambling creates demand for official data, and stadium/ancillary revenues continue to grow— all ‘helping drive up franchise prices.’ Bartie adds that emerging video-game-based eSports have ‘captured coveted younger viewership, coupled with its global appeal.’ Baker notes that ‘finance professionals, both private equity and hedge, continue to invest in sports teams and ancillary opportunities’ after valuations soared in the past two decades. Baker and Raij repped financier David Tepper buying the NFL’s Carolina Panthers for $2.27 billion. Baker advises Hollywood executives Jerry Bruckheimer and Harry Sloan for their part seeking an NHL Seattle expansion team. Bartie helped Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and others in acquiring eSports’ Complexity Gaming. Raij advised Spanish soccer’s La Liga on licensing league rights in North America.”