Temporary BMI deal mirrors ASCAP agreement


The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) has not come to terms on royalties with the major organizations representing composers, but now the two biggest – ASCAP and BMI – have both agreed to bridge terms while long-term contracts remain in negotiation.

Following ACSCAP before it, BMI will accept a 7% reduction in rates from broadcasters, and the reduction will be reflected in January billing. A court will determine final interim fees, but that event is not expected until sometime in Q2.

The 7% figure is ephemeral, however. Whatever rate the court decides on will be applied retroactively going back to 1/1/10.

RMLC Chairman Ed Christian repeated earlier remarks to the effect that he’s disappointed that the process has stalled but he looks forward to realizing significant price reductions in licensing fees by the time the process concludes.

RBR-TVBR observation: The fact that interested parties have negotiated a temporary rate until a real temporary rate is set tells you all you need to know about how close we are to a resolution to this matter. The answer, of course, is light years away.

The positive that broadcasters is the fact that the starting point for this process is with a reduction – a sure indication that the rights organizations realize that radio business realities have changed and they will have to lower their expectations as to what broadcasters can realistically afford to pay.