Music Rights: About the Agreements

About the Broadcast Music License Agreements

CPB, NPR and PBS have negotiated music license agreements with ASCAP, BMI, the Harry Fox Agency and SESAC on behalf of the public broadcasting system. CPB pays the fees under each of these agreements. Stations which are CPB qualified, NPR Members or PBS Members are covered by the ASCAP, BMI, Harry Fox Agency and SESAC broadcast music license agreements. No station action is necessary. Stations will be contacted directly by ASCAP or BMI to provide music use reports under these agreements.

The term of the agreements is January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2017. The SESAC agreement requires that, should a station provide reports to ASCAP or BMI, a copy of the report be sent to SESAC. There is no station reporting obligation required of stations under the Harry Fox Agency agreement.

These agreements and licenses contain significant confidentiality provisions. You will be able to download each agreement after your station has registered.

  • The ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and Harry Fox Agency broadcast licenses are applicable to both public television and public radio stations.

About the Internet Music License Agreements

The cooperative efforts of CPB, NPR, PBS and SRG resulted in the execution of agreements with SoundExchange and a number of performance rights organizations (PROs) for the use and performance of sound recordings over the Internet.

These agreements and licenses contain significant confidentiality provisions and certain reporting obligations. You will be able to download each agreement after your station has registered. Please read and review the terms of each of the licenses before making a final decision about whether your station should elect to be covered by them.

  • The SoundExchange agreement is only applicable to qualified public radio stations.
  • No SoundExchange license is necessary for the internet transmission of audio-visual works.
  • The ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and Harry Fox Agency licenses are applicable to both public television and public radio stations.
  • Stations have certain record-keeping and reporting requirements with respect to these agreements.