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Volume 20 No. 42
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Daniel Cohen to lead Octagon’s media rights arm

Octagon hired Daniel Cohen from MP & Silva to start a New York-based media rights consulting business.

Cohen starts this week as Octagon’s senior vice president of media rights consulting. He will be based in New York and report to the agency’s chief strategy officer, Simon Wardle. Most recently with MP & Silva as a managing partner and senior vice president, Americas, Cohen was responsible for developing the agency’s strategic media rights services across the region.

Octagon will hire a second executive for the media advisory group at the beginning of next month and plans to hire several more media analysts in ensuing months.

“Revenue will dictate exactly how quickly the practice grows,” Wardle said. “We’re making a significant investment. [Octagon Chairman and CEO Rick Dudley] and I are extremely bullish on the opportunity.”

Octagon enters a crowded marketplace that features companies like the CAA-backed Evolution Media, Sports Media Advisors that was launched by former NHL executive Doug Perlman in 2009, and BHV run by industry veteran Chris Bevilacqua. These companies represent leagues and networks during media rights negotiations.

“We’re taking a more data-driven approach,” Wardle said. “As the media landscape becomes more complicated and complex, you need to take a much more analytical approach.”

Octagon will use its sister agency, Futures Sport and Entertainment, to develop those media analytics. It does not yet have any clients for its media rights consulting business, but Wardle said it is “down the road” with two or three companies.

“Organically through Futures, we’ve already helped some rights holders evaluate the value of their content for broadcast partners,” Wardle said. “Through our work with Futures, we already recognize that there’s a need for rights holders to understand the value of their assets and how they should be going to market in terms of their linear broadcast rights and their digital rights.”