John Hane is a partner in Pillsbury's Communications practice. He concentrates on transactions, spectrum licensing and special projects in electronic media, satellite, cable television and wireless communications. He writes and speaks often on spectrum, television and technology issues, and is frequently quoted in communications and technology industry trade press on matters ranging from spectrum auctions to over-the-top (OTT) video and other emerging video distribution platforms. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and other leading newspapers, has appeared on all major business news networks, and advises investors and analysts on spectrum, media, copyright and communications policy.
John advises satellite operators in procurement and other commercial negotiations and in obtaining financing and regulatory approvals. Mr. Hane has represented some of the world’s largest commercial space firms as well as emerging small satellite operators.
John represents broadcasters and both cable and satellite television distributors in retransmission consent and program access negotiations and related litigation. He was co-lead of the Pillsbury team that secured landmark decisions at the FCC and in Federal Court in Mediacom v. Sinclair. He advises programmers and online video distributors (OVDs) in complex negotiations and obtaining copyright and other clearances to make high value video content available on the Internet (TV Everywhere) through apps and non-traditional devices using secure authentication.
Active in spectrum policy and spectrum auctions, John advises private and public broadcasters in developing strategies for the broadcast incentive auction, repacking, and transition to a new broadcast technical standard.
John has developed a unique portfolio of experience in the law, business and technology of media distribution and satellite communications. As NBC's Washington Counsel in the 1990s he played key roles in NBC's successful efforts to eliminate outdated FCC regulations and enable the transition to digital television.
At New World Communications Group, John spearheaded the company’s lobbying of the 1996 Communications Act and later shepherded the sale of the company to News Corporation through regulatory approvals, marking one of the fastest approvals of a major News Corporation acquisition in the 1990s.
John led domestic and international regulatory affairs for Lockheed Martin’s commercial satellite division, representing Lockheed Martin Telecommunications before the FCC, the ITU, and other regulatory agencies worldwide.
As a non-lawyer executive officer of Pegasus Communications leading a 50+ person development group, John was intimately involved in the growth of satellite television into a full service multichannel video competitor. He negotiated more than a dozen large transactions and strategic joint ventures while at Pegasus, and he led the team that launched the first duplex satellite broadband service to be bundled with a DBS service. He was the first to propose several innovative uses of Ka-band satellite spectrum and to propose “tweener” assignments in the DBS bands. He won preferred satellite licenses for Pegasus’ Ka-band fixed satellite service (FSS) satellites under two different licensing regimes and was the first to obtain rights to use Canadian satellites to broadcast into the U.S. from facilities in the U.S.
John has been awarded four patents for satellite, wireless, digital video and secure communications technologies:
- System, method and software application for secure communication (U.S. Patent No. 8,799,637)
- Security system and method (U.S. Patent No. 7,589,626)
- System, apparatus and method for single-channel or multi-channel terrestrial communication (U.S. Patent No. 7,308,229)
- Wideband direct-to-home broadcasting satellite communications system and method (U.S. Patent No. 7,587,736)