CBS Corporation Supervisor Rights & Clearances Specialist - Smithsonian Channel in New York, New York

Supervisor Rights & Clearances Specialist - Smithsonian Channel

REF#: 26436

CBS BUSINESS UNIT: Smithsonian Networks

JOB TYPE: Full-Time Staff




Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ HD, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ ON DEMAND. SNI also manages Smithsonian Networks, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution, which offers Smithsonian Channel™. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.


The Supervisor, Rights & Clearances Specialist is responsible - with guidance from Director of Rights & Clearances and Sr. VP of Legal & Business Affairs -- for the implementation and maintenance of rights and clearances practices for programming delivered to the Network and materials used on-air, online, in original programs, and in a range of ancillary marketing materials used for international and domestic distribution.

Specific Responsibilities:

Programming/Legal Deliverables Review: Oversee and advise third party production teams throughout production process to ensure that Network’s policies regarding rights and clearances and Network’s deliverables requirements are followed, and to ensure timely delivery of rights binders; review programs and rights binder materials upon delivery to Network to ensure that all required documents are received and meet the Network’s standards, and that all third party elements have been cleared for the minimum distribution rights required for each program prior to broadcast; notify each production company or (for Acquisitions) distributor of missing and/or deficient deliverables and continue working with outside company until all issues are resolved; when appropriate, consult with R&C Director to determine if deliveries can be considered Complete as per the terms of each contract so that final payments can be released to production companies and distributors.

Policy Implementation: Work with Sr. VP, Legal & Business Affairs and Director of Rights & Clearances to ensure Smithsonian Networks’ policies are implemented on all Rights & Clearance requests; review third party license agreements and releases obtained for Original programs with Sr. VP, Legal & Business Affairs to ensure that terms are acceptable before arranging for signature; use existing rights management systems to track rights information at an element and program level.

Promotion/Marketing Materials Review: React in a timely fashion to the clearance needs of Network’s Consumer Marketing and Digital Media departments regarding promotional materials produced for assigned productions; advise Marketing and Digital Media contacts of relevant promotion-related restrictions based on corresponding program, legal deliverables, and program contract reviews. review all completed promotional materials and tactics to ensure that they are fully cleared for the desired promotional uses. Consult with attorneys before approving requests.

Rights/Content Acquisitions: Advise Network’s in-house production teams throughout production process to ensure that Network’s policies regarding rights and clearances and Network’s deliverables requirements are followed, and to ensure timely delivery of rights binders; react in a timely fashion to clearance requests from assigned production teams; when necessary, initiate contact with copyright and other rights holders/administrators to request quotes and/or licenses/permissions for third party materials; negotiate fees to obtain most favorable rates for use of materials; outline for producers and production managers the relevant costs related to clearance requests to ensure that all requests stay within budget guidelines; offer alternative solutions for request that cannot be fulfilled; when appropriate, obtain contracts, confirm that contracts reflect the terms negotiated, and initiate payment and signature processes.


  • A strong, varied background of handling Rights & Clearance on a range of productions including a minimum of three (3) years of experience with handling a variety of clearance requests and negotiating deal points, including experience with reading, drafting and amending contracts. Extensive experience with television industry and television industry personnel and familiarity with typical television network and production company operations.

  • Strong understanding of industry-wide Rights & Clearances practices, norms, and terminology and how these are relevant to SNI’s policies; comprehension of copyright law and implications of copyright, trademark and privacy law with regard to Rights & Clearances; capacity to identify and track distribution related rights and restrictions in a variety of agreements including production contracts negotiated by Sr. VP, Legal & Business Affairs; ability to analyze and assess requests and understand the implications of copyright, trademark and privacy law with regard to each request and with regard to industry standards; broad Rights & Clearance experience in numerous programming genres; working knowledge of AFTRA, SAG, DGA & WGA regulations as they relate to clip clearance experience is essential; working knowledge of music synchronization licensing as it pertains to the television industry; strong cultural literacy and understanding of the television and documentary industries and personnel, coupled with a talent for navigating the diverse personalities therein.

  • Facilitate Clearances: Ability to facilitate clip clearance, music clearance, print clearances and actor/talent approvals; capacity to read and understand legal contracts and negotiate deal points within the contracts; ability to draft and amend legal documents with guidance from Sr. VP of Legal & Business Affairs; provide a variety of resources and alternative suggestions for problematic clearances.

  • Administrative Skills: Extremely detail-oriented and organized person who can deal with high volumes of work under tight deadlines, communicate effectively and negotiate soundly.


Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Veterans/Disabled