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Gary McDonagh

  • Business Affairs
  • UK
  • 10/09/2021
Full time Legal

Personal Summary

I have been negotiating and drafting media contracts for production (TV/VoD/Social) and distribution for over 10 years, including commissioning agreements, co-production and presales, talent/location agreements, development deals, sales licences and distribution contracts. A skilled negotiator with contracting experience gained with BritBox, BBC, ITV, educational platform Open University and a range of UK/US media organisations. Experienced with underlying rights and clearances, as well as having an excellent understanding of copyright law.

Work Experience

Business Affairs Consultant
May 2021 - Zig Zag Productions

• Drafting a range of production agreements including location, contributor (Equity actors/stunt artists), composers and talent deals, ensuring people contracts adhere to IR35 regulations.
• Maintain excellent relationships with internal and external partners, including talent agents, commissioners and PACT.

Rights Manager for UK SVoD
Sep 2020 - Apr 2021 ITV Legal & Commercial Affairs

Sep 20-April 21
• Worked in close collaboration with Business Affairs and Acquisitions teams as Rights Manager for UK SVoD platform BritBox, reviewing and analysing all contracts for commissioned and acquired content to ensure smooth running of business operations for direct-to-consumer subscription service.
• Assessed all underlying rights and clearances (writers/equity/music) and net revenue shares, as well as advising on licensing terms for SVoD windowing to abide by broadcaster's terms of trade.
• Aided ITV's digital transformation plans by introducing integrated contact management storage, as well as advising on automated systems and processes.

Commercial & Business Development Manager BBC Studios
Jul 2017 - May 2020 BBC Studios

• Negotiated and drafted commercial agreements on behalf of 6 production units (Ents/Fact Ent) including commissioning and distribution agreements, as well as concluding contracts for ancillary licensing (publishing, merchandising, live events) and AVoD/SVoD/social first content.
• Increased commercial revenue by 100% by identifying, pitching and contracting co-production and pre-sales deficit finance contracts to enable the successful commissioning of content with ABC Australia, PBS US, SVoD services.
• Secured production units first fully funded commissions from outside the UK with US SVoD platform, resulting in excess of £1m turnover.

Contracts Manager BBC Studios
Sep 2015 - Jul 2017 BBC

• Provided contractual and commercial expertise to aid creation of BBC Studios Ltd, preparing business case and finance plan to gain regulatory approval from BBC Executive boards, BBC Trust and Ofcom.
• Drafted and concluded internal legal contracts for provision of shared professional services including Legal, Business Affairs, HR, Finance, Marketing and Facilities (studio hire, post, digital).
• Negotiated on alignment of production and distribution divisions, analysing/reconciling financial data as well as modelling 5-year net revenues and briefing/influencing senior stakeholders.

Business Affairs & Commercial Consultant
Jan 2012 - Jan 2015

• Set up bespoke business affairs and commercial consultancy, drafting and concluding programme and format sales licenses with international broadcasters including Viasat, Foxtel and Discovery.
• Retained by educational platform The Open University to conduct a review of their media operations. Advised OU board to outsource their media activities, led on tender process with distributors, negotiated and drafted distribution contract with DCD Rights.
• Also advised OU on investment levels to secure distribution rights and concluded business affairs deals through to signature of distribution contracts with rights owners, as well as drafting programme sales licenses through transition phase and instigating legal termination of sub distribution contracts.

Acquisitions & Co-Production Manager ITV
Jan 2006 - Jan 2012 ITV Studios

• Drafted and negotiated development and distribution agreements to grow ITV Studios distribution catalogue by 300% by revising acquisitions strategy to focus on larger, more strategic deals.
• Raised £12m in co-production and pre-sales deficit finance by identifying and securing investment partners and concluding contracts with Discovery, National Geographic, France Television.
• Slashed production costs by advising and transitioning internal production business units to default use of royalty free music.
• Engaged in business affairs deal-making to secure new equity and output deals, averaging a 60% ROI across all factual and scripted investments.


BA Hons - (2:1) Film, Media & Marketing
University of Stirling