New BMI/NCTA Agreement To Yield ‘Significantly Increased Fees’

Posted in News on July 24, 2000

NEW YORK, July 25, 2000 - BMI and the National Cable Television Association's Music License Committee have reached an agreement for a blanket license to cover the public performance of BMI music in locally originated programming or inserted content on cable systems. The new agreement, reached through negotiation by the two parties, covers the period 1997-2004.

The new system agreements provide cable operators with the right to perform more than 4.5 million musical works from the BMI repertoire. The agreement covers music performed on a wide spectrum of locally originated content including a system's local origination channels, PEG channels (Public, Educational, and Government Access channels), leased access channels, local advertisements, promotional spots, infomercials and alpha-channels with non-broadcast background music; and statewide or regional news programming.

The agreement is the culmination of a multi-year negotiation between BMI and the NCTA, which represents the majority of the cable systems in the United States.

"We anticipate that with the new agreement, coupled with the growth of locally originated cable programming, BMI's local cable revenues will increase significantly over the fees received under the previous agreement," said John Shaker, Senior Vice President, Licensing for BMI. "We hope this agreement will make it easier for cable system operators to use more BMI music in their local programming."

BMI created the market for local cable performance royalties when it negotiated an experimental license with the NCTA covering the period 1990-1996. "We are pleased that we once again have been able to reach an agreement through arm's-length negotiation, avoiding costly and drawn-out litigation. Because these license fees are final, they provide a stable source of cable system royalty income for our songwriters, composers and publishers for years to come as well as giving cable operators the benefit of a stable final rate," said Shaker.

The agreements do not cover music use in cable network programming, which are still under negotiation between BMI and the cable networks.

BMI, founded in 1939, is an American performing rights organization that represents more than 250,000 songwriters, composer and music publishers in all genres of music. Through its music performance and reciprocal agreements with sister organizations around the world, it grants businesses and media access to its repertoire of more than 4.5 million songs and compositions.

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