Manager Footage Licensing / Content Rights Management

Nov 21, 2023
Nov 24, 2023
Trademark Agent
Contract Type

The Manager Footage Licensing / Content Rights Management oversees key aspects of footage licensing of the ESPN and ABC Sports Archives and is the primary point–of–contact for external licensing requests. The Manager's responsibility includes revenue generating initiatives related to the use of ESPN/ ABC Sports owned content, either through direct licensing or working in tandem with contracted sub–licensors or intra–ESPN or intra–Disney departments. The Manager should be well–versed in rights assessment of television content, be familiar with legal contracts and clearance procedures.

The Manager reports to the Director of Content Rights Management, who guides executive decisions for Footage Licensing related to collection management, sales strategy, sub–licensor partnerships, and rightsholder relationships.

The Manager works closely with ESPN Programming & Original Content, Legal, Business Affairs, Communications, Studio Production, Talent and Music Departments to assist with licensing terms and approval of third–party licensing when required. The Manager also assists in coordinating on–site shoots at ESPN locations for feature films and scripted TV programs, working with Studios, Legal, Talent and Production to approve access, license the footage shot as well as ESPN's logos & marks to be used in the film.

The Manager will provide licensing guidance and summaries of available material to an array of internal and external content creators and will feel as comfortable operating in an advisory role as they do personally handling any required clearances in a timely and efficient manner. Must have a high attention to detail, an interest in content research, an eye for anticipating client needs and problem–solving, and the ability to handle a wide range of personalities and inquiries.


  • Work collaboratively with Rights Management team as well as an array of content creators to address clearance issues for External and Internal Productions (programming, feature films, commercials, long form, short form, podcasts, digital pieces, etc.), including providing instruction on best practices
  • Instruct third parties on proper request submissions
  • Explore and maintain external sales outreach efforts, such as the Department's website and any promotional opportunities
  • Research and analyze request viability, Company property rights and obtain internal clearance, when needed, for third party licensing
  • Oversee research of ESPN/ ABC Sports content for license
  • Negotiate favorable rates
  • Arrange for delivery of screener and master material
  • Working with ESPN Legal, to draft and review screening and license agreements to conform to Company's required terms
  • Oversee invoice and billing with Finance
  • Discuss with Rights Management Team to Identify and analyze risks associated with rights and licensed materials and re–use parameters
  • Confirm that content re–purposed from the ESPN/ ABC Sports is clear and viable for re–use in new productions and revenue generating initiatives by reviewing releases


  • Extensive knowledge of sports and sports programming history on ESPN and ABC
  • 5+ years' required experience in negotiation and licensing out to (or acquiring rights from), content involving third parties for a television and/or media company
  • Experience with intellectual property rights & management, including International angles
  • Must be able to handle a high volume of requests while maintaining attention to detail
  • Capable of curating strong relationships and connections in the industry – with Disney content & administration colleagues, outside producers, sports leagues & organizers, and ESPN legal counsel
  • Able to perform daily duties autonomously and efficiently while recognizing when consultation with ESPN Legal or Programming Senior Management is required
  • Extensive experience with media formats, licensing fees, and troubleshooting in a fast–paced sales environment
  • Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills are required to handle both client–facing and internal communications
  • Strong negotiation skills with an ability to consult and leverage multiple existing ESPN touchpoints with clients or organizers to drive results and/ cost savings
  • Demonstrable, maturity, professionalism, and sound judgment. Familiarity and comfort working with databases, media asset, and rights management systems

Required Education:

  • Four–year college degree or equivalent in relevant work experience