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Thursday February 17th, 2011

From the Couch to the Web: Developments in the Multichannel Video Programming Distribution Industry and Current Legal Issues

George D. Callard, Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs NBC Universal, Inc.

Wednesday February 17, 2011, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Distinguished Lecture in Law, Technology, and the Arts presented by the Center for Law, Technology & the Arts, Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Television has evolved from three national networks airing scheduled programming, to 500-channel cable/satellite platforms, to Internet delivery of “unlimited channels” of video content. But it’s the rapid development of the Internet and dissemination of on-line video content that is ushering in the most significant change. And, with such change come numerous legal and practical challenges for traditional video content providers and distributors alike.

In his lecture, Mr. Callard will review the early history of the cable television industry – how it started, how it grew and the legal issues encountered along the way. He will answer the questions: What is cable television? What is a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD)? What is video programming? And what do these terms mean under federal law and FCC regulations? Mr. Callard will discuss recent cases and how they apply to the developing on-line video distribution business. He will describe how they impact his work as a distribution lawyer, to highlight some of the legal/regulatory and practical issues facing both traditional content providers and distributors.

Additional Information About Our Guest

George D. Callard is Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at NBC Universal, Inc. There, he is responsible for multichannel video programming, including negotiation, review and drafting of programming license and retransmission consent agreements for cable, IPTV, broadband and wireless platforms, as well as drafting and negotiation of marketing/advertising agreements, technology and software licensing and development, high technology equipment purchases, customer agreements, and asset purchase agreements with both high growth start-up and mature organizations.

He has significant experience in cable and broadcast FCC matters, regulatory compliance, UCC, and government relations. Previously he was Senior Counsel at AT&T Inc. (2004-07, formerly SBC Communications, Inc.) and at Cinnamon Mueller, LLC (2002-04), Counsel and Assistant Secretary at AT&T Inc. (1995-2001, then known as Ameritech, Inc.), and Associate Counsel for Multimedia Cablevision, Inc. (1992-95). He received his B.A. in Comparative Communist Studies from Union College (1985), his M.A. in International Relations from University of Cincinnati (1988), and his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law (1992).