ASCAP And RMLC Come To An Interim Agreement
December 18, 2009 at 10:21 AM (PT)
The industry-wide license agreement negotiated between ASCAP and the RADIO MUSIC LICENSE COMMITTEE (RMLC) for the period JANUARY 1, 2001 to DECEMBER 31, 2009 will soon expire, but an interim agreement has been cobbled together. The temporary schedule will reflect a provisional fee discount of 7% (as against 2009 station fee levels). This fee reduction should be reflected in the JANUARY 2010 ASCAP monthly billing.
Absent a negotiated settlement between the RMLC and ASCAP on long-term fees, the U S District Court in NEW YORK will make a determination of interim and permanent fees for the new contract period. The rate court process may consume one or more years. To bridge the gap prior to determination of a final fee order (which will be retroactive to JANUARY 1, 2010), the RMLC and ASCAP have agreed to provisional interim fees that will remain in effect until the rate court determines interim fees, which is expected to occur during the second quarter of 2010.
The rate court exists for this very purpose and we remain confident that the RMLC can achieve a further rate reduction during the interim fee phase of the proceedings.
The RMLC conducted voluntary negotiations earlier in the year with both ASCAP and BMI. The separate discussions reached impasse, which left the parties no alternative but to petition fee determination from the applicable rate courts in New York. The RMLC will soon announce that it is pursuing a similar course of action with respect to BMI, whose licenses also expire at the end of this year.
When questioned, the RMLC’s Chairman, ED CHRISTIAN, commented “It is unfortunate that the gap in our respective positions was so vast that it made it virtually impossible to reach a voluntary agreement as to new licenses commencing in 2010. That being said, the rate court exists for this very purpose and we remain confident that the RMLC can achieve a further rate reduction during the interim fee phase of the proceedings.”
View the 2010 ASCAP Radio Station License Extension Agreement here.