BMI seeks $15M from ESPN for ‘ambient music’

During sporting event broadcasts on networks like ESPN or CBS, it’s not unusual for the microphones to pick up the music that is being played in the stadium. That didn’t seem like too big of a deal until now.

ESPN usually has licensing rights to play bands’ songs on their broadcasts and on promotional packages for games. However, it looks like one music agency is seeking a big payout from the network for the incidental airing of the music on broadcasts.

BMI filed a lawsuit last week, suing ESPN for $15 million.

“Advertisers place a premium on live sporting events … and ambient stadium music is a critical component of the broadcast that allows ESPN to attract viewers by making them feel like they are sitting in the stadium cheering on their favorite team.”

ESPN may be to blame for this lawsuit after they even stated they wanted to get music rights from the artists themselves. The Worldwide Leader is looking to settle the lawsuit with a $10.5 million fee.

BMI says getting a license fee would be “insurance against copyright infringement, relief from the need to separately identify each and every composition inserted into its programming, greatly reduced transaction costs, streamlined collection and payment of royalties, and immediate access to the more than 10.5 million works in BMI’s repertoire.”

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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