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Licensing for Television
If you broadcast live or recorded music on television, make sure to get permission for any songs you did not write, recordings made by other people, and lyrics you show. You may need a combination of Master, Synchronization, Public Performance, and Print rights, depending on how you use the music. You do not need to license songs that you wrote yourself or songs that you know are in the Public Domain.

Some of the types of licenses necessary for television, Synchronization, Master, and Print licenses, are custom-negotiated upfront with the copyright holder, and are a bit more complex. For custom licensing help, check out our Custom Licensing Assistance and Handling service, or contact us.

Artists whose music appears on television often do not need to secure Public Performance Rights because they are covered by the station. Station operators need to secure Public Performance rights. Expect to report your playlists and pay a percentage of your revenues to three agencies that distribute the royalties to the composers.

In the United States, all Public Performance Rights are handled by three agencies. If you are unsure whether you need Public Performance Rights, you should contact these agencies.
ASCAP 1-800-952-7227
BMI 212-220-3000
SESAC 615-320-0055
You might need:

Public Performance Rights
If you will perform music live in or broadcast recorded music.

Synchronization License
If you broadcast a recorded video that has a song that someone else wrote.

Master License
If you broadcast a recorded video that has an existing recording that someone else made.

Print Rights
If you plan to display lyrics or the music notes of a song in your broadcast.

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