How PRA plays on Wall Street


Analysts Rebecca Arbogast and David Kaut of Stifel Nicolaus took a quick look at Performance Rights Act, with less than shocking results when it comes to picking winners and losers should the measure pass into law. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that radio companies will be severely challenged by that event, while it will be a windfall from the heavens for recording companies.

The good news from Arbogast and Kaut is that they don’t see anything happening right away. However, they seem to expect that eventually the labels will get their way and that some form of performance payment will come into being. They believe there will be negotiations among interested parties before anything is finalized.

They did not have a clear idea of the bill’s support among the Senate rank and file, but did note the broadcasters’ upper hand in the House, with at least 251 PRA opponents. But regardless, they warned of a possible effort to attach the bill to an unrelated piece of must-pass legislation (always a danger in Congress).

RBR-TVBR observation: The ugly truth about PRA is that it will likely become an evergreen Capitol Hill issue (if it isn’t considered one already), and even if it is soundly thrashed on the House floor this year, it will come up again, and again, and again. There will be no such thing as a permanent victory for broadcasters in this matter, and they will always have to be on high alert for the next recording industry maneuver.