FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Michael D. Nilsson

Michael D. Nilsson

Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

Washington, DC, USA


Michael D. Nilsson is a partner with the law firm of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. He advises and represents media and communications companies before the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Copyright Office, foreign regulators, and international regulatory bodies. He also advises a range of innovative smaller organizations—especially nonprofits and startups—on commercial negotiations and a wide range of other legal issues.

Mr. Nilsson has particular expertise on legal issues associated with video programming. He has represented the largest U.S. satellite television provider in connection with three renewals of copyright and communications legislation governing satellite television. In doing so, he negotiated successfully with the broadcast television industry and the largest copyright owners. He has twice provided expert testimony on behalf of this satellite provider before the U.S. Copyright Office. He routinely represents pay-TV providers in negotiations for the rights to transmit video programming. He often advises these clients on the legal implications of proposed new distribution models. He has represented clients before the FCC in many of the largest media mergers in recent years, as well as in the full range of rulemakings affecting the media sector. He has represented foreign cable operators in multi-jurisdictional mergers and copyright disputes, and has represented pay-TV providers in anti-piracy matters before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the State Department, and the Department of Commerce.

Mr. Nilsson advises satellite, cable, wireline, and wireless communications companies with respect to the licensing, deployment, and regulation of their services. He represents these companies in the full range of FCC rulemakings and ongoing compliance efforts.

Mr. Nilsson also advises and represents smaller organizations, especially nonprofits and startups, on a broad range of issues. For example, he has acted as longtime outside counsel to an arts education center; assisted a large international nonprofit in the negotiation of favorable licensing terms and advised on the composition of its Board of Directors; represented for-profit startups in commercial negotiations; and counseled a London-based consumer products start-up to launch its North American operations.

From 2001 to 2002, Mr. Nilsson served as Legislative Assistant and Counsel, and principal telecommunications and technology adviser, to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia. He advised the Senator on issues such as broadband deployment, universal service, spectrum auctions, satellite mergers, Internet privacy, digital copyright, and homeland security.

Mr. Nilsson has co-chaired the Federal Communications Bar Association’s Intellectual Property, Legislation, and Video Programming and Distribution Committees.

Mr. Nilsson has engaged in a number of pro bono representations, including serving as outside counsel to the French Bulldog Rescue Network. He served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Sitar Arts Center, a nonprofit arts education center, where he also teaches saxophone.

Michael D. Nilsson is associated with the following items:
CHB Chapters  CHB Chapters Applicants’ Consolidated Opposition to Petitions to Deny, In Re: Tribune Media Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., Consolidated Applications for Consent to Transfer Control, MB Docket No. 17-179 (August 22, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Petition to Dismiss or Deny of DISH Network L.L.C., In Re: Tribune Media Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., Consolidated Applications for Consent to Transfer Control, MB Docket No. 17-179 (August 7, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, In Re: Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard, GN Docket No. 16-142, FCC 17-158 (November 20, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Reply of Dish Network L.L.C., In the Matter of Tribune Media Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., Consolidated Applications for Consent to Transfer Control, MB Docket No. 17-179 (August 29, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Petition for Reconsideration of the National Association of Broadcasters, In Re: 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review—Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; 2010 Quadrennial Regulatory Review—Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; Promoting Diversification of Ownership in the Broadcasting Services; Rules and Policies Concerning Attribution of Joint Sales Agreements in Local Television Markets, MB Docket Nos. 14-50, 09-182, 07-294, 04-256 (December 1, 2016) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Letter from Michael D. Nilsson, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, Counsel to the American Television Alliance, to Secy. Marlene H. Dortch, FCC, In Re: Ex Parte Communication in: MB Docket No. 15-216 (Good Faith Negotiation); MB Docket No. 10-71 (Retransmission Consent); MB Docket Nos. 14-50, 09-182, 07-294, 04-256 (Local Media Ownership) (February 17, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Petition to Deny of American Cable Association, In Re: Applications of Tribune Media Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group for Consent to Transfer Control of Licenses and Authorizations, MB Docket No. 17-179 August 7, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Pursuant to Protective Order, Highly Confidential Information from Tribune Media Company, In Re: Tribune Media Company and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., Consolidated Applications for Consent to Transfer Control, MB Docket No. 17-179 (July 19, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Letter from Michael D. Nilsson, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, Counsel to the American Television Alliance, to Secy. Marlene H. Dortch, FCC, In Re: Ex Parte Communication in: MB Docket No. 15-216 (Good Faith Negotiation); MB Docket No. 10-71 (Retransmission Consent); MB Docket Nos. 14-50, 09-182, 07-294, 04-256 (Local Media Ownership); GN Docket No. 16-142 (ATSC 3.0) (November 3, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Reply Comments of the American Television Alliance, In Re: Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard, GN Docket No. 16-142 (June 8, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Order on Reconsideration and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, In Re: 2014 Quadrennial Regulatory Review—Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; 2010 Quadrennial Regulatory Review—Review of the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; Promoting Diversification of Ownership in the Broadcasting Services; Rules and Policies Concerning Attribution of Joint Sales Agreements in Local Television Markets; Rules and Policies to Promote New Entry and Ownership Diversity in the Broadcasting Services, MB Docket Nos. 14-50, 09-182, 07-294, 04-256, 17-829, FCC 17 - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Letter from Michael D. Nilsson, Mark Davis, Jared Marx, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, Counsel to the American Television Alliance, to Secy. Marlene H. Dortch, FCC, In Re: Ex Parte Communication in: MB Docket No. 15-216 (Good Faith Negotiation); MB Docket No. 10-71 (Retransmission Consent); MB Docket Nos. 14-50, 09-182, 07-294, 04-256 (Local Media Ownership); 17-179 (Sinclair-Tribune Proceeding) (August 17, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Comments of America’s Public Television Stations, The AWARN Alliance, The Consumer Technology Association and The National Association of Broadcasters, In Re: Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard, GN Docket No. 16-142 (May 9, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Comments of the American Cable Association, In Re: Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard, GN Docket No. 16-142 (May 9, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Comments of the American Television Alliance, In Re: Authorizing Permissive Use of the “Next Generation” Broadcast Television Standard, GN Docket No. 16-142 (May 9, 2017) - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Web Segment  Web Segment Issues Arising in retransmission consent negotiations and the latest news on ATSC 3.0                                                            - Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Friday, April 13, 2018
MP3 Audio  MP3 Audio Issues Arising in retransmission consent negotiations and the latest news on ATSC 3.0                                                            - Issues Arising in retransmission consent negotiations and the latest news on ATSC 3.0                                                           , Friday, April 13, 2018
Transcripts  Transcripts Issues Arising in retransmission consent negotiations and the latest news on ATSC 3.0                                                            - Issues Arising in retransmission consent negotiations and the latest news on ATSC 3.0                                                           , Friday, April 13, 2018
MP4 - Mobile Video Seg  MP4 - Mobile Video Seg Issues Arising in retransmission consent negotiations and the latest news on ATSC 3.0                                                            - Issues Arising in retransmission consent negotiations and the latest news on ATSC 3.0                                                           , Friday, April 13, 2018
On-Demand Web Programs  On-Demand Web Programs Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2018, Wednesday, April 18, 2018, New York, NY
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