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BMI and Radio Industry Reach $1 Billion Agreement

Posted in News on July 30, 2003
The Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) announced today that agreement had been reached on new commercial radio station blanket and per program licenses for the musical works in BMI's repertoire. The agreement settles a rate proceeding commenced in 1999 by the RMLC in the Federal District Court in New York.

The agreement covers the 10-year period from 1997 through 2006. Details of the agreements for both blanket and per program licenses, which have been submitted to the BMI rate court, are being mailed to radio stations throughout the industry this week.

BMI and the RMLC have agreed that the interim license fees due for the period 1997 through 2002 will remain unchanged and will be the final fees due for this period. Fees for the period 2003 through 2006 are on the basis of a new formula developed during the negotiations that offers the benefits of stability, simplified administration, and set fee levels to BMI and radio stations alike. The agreement also includes a separate fee for the right for RMLC radio stations to simultaneously stream their over-the-air signals on their Internet websites.

"The new licenses offer an increase in our royalties and a predictable revenue stream from 2001 through 2006 totaling more than $1 billion," said BMI's President and CEO Frances W. Preston. "It avoids a court proceeding, saving our songwriters, composers, and music publishers millions of dollars in legal expenses and years of delay." "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with BMI that provides for set fees for the industry rather than calculating BMI license fees based on a station's revenue," said Randall Mays, Chair of the RMLC. "This was one of our key objectives for the industry, along with obtaining Internet streaming rights, and we were able to achieve it by agreement rather than through continuing legal proceedings.

"BMI has reached out to our radio customers with respect to this new licensing approach," said Preston. "We believe the level of fees under this agreement validates the significant value of the musical works licensed by BMI to radio."

"The radio industry is pleased with BMI's flexibility and looks forward to working with BMI to implement the new licenses," said Keith Meehan, Executive Director of the RMLC.

The RMLC represents, directly or indirectly, virtually all commercial U.S. radio stations with the exception of those stations represented by the National Religious Broadcasters Music License Committee.