RMLC calls out SESAC.

christian-edThe Radio Music Licensing Committee reached a settlement with SESAC in July that supposedly would freeze the performing rights rates at 2015 levels pending negotiations or binding arbitration to determine future rates. But apparently the performing rights organization is going to individual stations and groups and pressuring them not to join the settlement, offering fee reductions as incentives. In a letter to broadcasters, RMLC Chairman and Saga CEO Ed Christian writes, “SESAC has suggested without basis that it is likely to achieve significantly higher fees from arbitration than it is now collecting industry-wide. SESAC’s letter further tries to steer stations away from the settlement by stating that by entering into individual arrangements with SESAC, stations will avoid paying an RMLC administrative fee designed to support the arbitration effort.” According to Christian, the move on SESAC’s part is designed to divide and conquer, for two reasons: first, to undercut the RMLC’s ability “to vigorously represent our industry in the forthcoming arbitration”; and second, because SESAC recognizes that the likely outcome of the arbitration will be a much more significant rollback in fees than the reductions it is now offering.