Chris Spicer Talks Film, TV Financing on GHJ Podcast

Akin Gump entertainment and media practice head Chris Spicer appeared on the GHJ podcast episode “Current Trends in Motion Picture and Television Financing.”

The episode focused on the question, “What key trends do you see for the co-financing deal structures now, especially with the overall economy slowing due to inflationary pressures or other factors external to the entertainment industry?”

Spicer said that when there are headwinds, there are also opportunities, noting that the global trends are macro factors affecting all industries, not just the entertainment and media industry. Regarding co-financing and theatrical releases, he said that it is “interesting how those deals are shaping up.”

He recalled how at the onset of COVID and six months into the pandemic, people were “very, very down on the co-financing model for equity and funds investors in the entertainment and media space. And what I think we see now is there’s definitely still a market for it, and the market’s not dead. My perspective is usually from the legal dealmaking side of the equation, and it’s actually a really interesting time to see how those co-financing deals have evolved. Most of the studios are still looking for co-financing partners; that’s still part of the business model of a lot of folks. And with theatrical back, those deals happen.”

He continued, “The key thing in the dealmaking process for co-fis is the interplay between theatrical, which clearly seems to have some future, however robust that is, or non-robust, for non-major tentpole blockbusters remains to be seen, but how that interplays with the goals of streaming, and then also everyone’s seen what’s happened to streaming numbers across various different streaming platforms over the last several months.”

Additional discussion covered co-financing for studios during times of disruption.

To listen to the full episode, click here.