September 2020 – Update from NRB MLC

Dear NRBMLC Friends,

 

Summer’s almost gone. It was very quiet, but … our wonderful associate Elizabeth Meyer got married! Hard to top that. Congratulations Liz and Ben!!

 

Now for some important licensing updates:

 

CRB PROCEEDING

 

The Web V rate trial before The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) in DC has finally gotten underway after a several month COVID delay. The trial phase of the proceeding is “virtual” – a challenge for all the parties, including the three-judge panel. Your committee, representing approximately 1,400 noncommercial radio stations, is there. Committee Counsel Karyn Ablin led off with a skillful presentation of the NRBNMLC case. Expert testimony now follows, after which the proceeding’s trial phase ends. Findings of Fact and Closing Arguments are next. The anticipated completion date is Spring 2021, when new rates are to be announced, retro to January 1, 2021.

 

If you are a noncommercial station, your committee has stepped forward by faith on your behalf. We are not yet close to paying for this trial and we need your help. If you expect to benefit from NRBNMLC’s work, please fill out this pledge form and send a generous contribution.

 

SESAC, RMLC AGREEMENT ANNOUNCED

 

SESAC and the Radio Music License Committee just announced a new commercial license agreement that will “carry forward the terms of its prior agreement with SESAC.” RMLC Chairman Edward Atsinger called the agreement “an efficient path forward for both sides.”

 

The SESAC/RMLC Agreement is important to track with for all commercial stations represented by NRBMLC. Most of our NRBMLC commercial stations were allowed “opt in” to the prior SESAC/RMLC agreement and have done so. If you are in this group, you should have received instructions in your email regarding next steps. It’s important to note that your 2019 annual report to SESAC is due no later than September 23, 2020.

 

BMI

 

Concerning another RMLC commercial music licensing agreement, BMI and RMLC reached a settlement months ago on terms for a final license. We have been informed by BMI that the door is now open for an NRBMLC-BMI license renewal (we’ve been under a BMI-NRBMLC interim license since 1/1/14). It is likely that talks will begin as soon as offices, now shut down, once more re-open. Your committee’s primary push on the commercial side will be for a more equitable Per Program broadcast license, and the accompanying digital streaming terms and conditions.

 

ASCAP

 

The ASCAP (and BMI) noncommercial streaming license, which will be a new royalty obligation to noncom NRBNMLC stations, has been on the table for several months. Depending on the progress of the COVID epidemic, it is possible that a final agreement could be developed soon after.

 

Your Help is Desperately Needed

 

If you are noncommercial and have not come forward with a generous gift, please do so NOW.

 

NRBNMLC is the only entity representing the music licensing interests of noncommercial religious broadcasters in the United States. Combined with commercial NRBMLC, we represent approximately 1,800 full-power AM and FM radio stations (comprising approximately 400 commercial and 1,400 noncommercial stations).

 

This current CRB rate proceeding will cost $1 million. Your committee does not have that kind of money, and we must find a way to pay these litigation expenses. Please complete the pledge form and send NRBNMLC a generous contribution. We can also accept donations through PayPal.

 

Sincerely,

Scott Hunter
Executive Director

 

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