SESAC Royalties for Commercial Radio Slashed By More Than Half – Both SESAC and RMLC Claim Victory in Arbitration
It was announced this week that SESAC’s royalties for radio for the period starting at the beginning of 2016 through the end of 2018 have been slashed – being reduced to less than half what they were in 2015. This decision came out of an arbitration process that resulted from the settlement of an antitrust lawsuit that the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) brought against SESAC (see our article here for a summary of the settlement). Yet, despite the significant reduction in the royalties for radio operators, both sides declared victory (see RMLC press release here and press reports on SESAC’s reaction here). Can both be right? While the decision of the arbitrators is not public so we can’t know for sure the reasoning behind the result, it might be that there is something to each of these claims.