The High Court has today dismissed ITV’s appeal of the Copyright Tribunal’s 2016 ruling that the broadcaster must increase its payments to PRS For Music and MCPS.
The two collection societies had been locked in a dispute with ITV since 2014, when negotiations broke down over the terms of the blanket licence for 2014-17. The broadcaster had wanted its payment capped at the 2013 rate of £23.5 million per year. However, PRS succeeded in its argument for an increase. PRS initially offered ITV a discount on its payments following the 2008 recession, but insisted that the agreement was a one-off and was not to be used as a guide for future royalties.
After a judge ruled in favour of PRS and MCPS’ case for increased payments, ITV lodged an appeal, which has now been dismissed.
Paul Clements, commercial director, PRS for Music, commented on the ruling: “In June 2016, the Copyright Tribunal decided a dispute over the terms of ITV’s broadcast license in PRS for Music’s favour. The Tribunal decision set down clear and compelling reasons for an increase in the license fee, reflecting the right value for our members’ music. While ITV chose to appeal this decision, I am pleased that the High Court has now rejected their arguments and upheld the original Tribunal decision. This result is very real evidence of our commitment to secure the right value for our members’ work.”
Following the initial ruling in favour of PRS For Music and MCPS, and ITV source described the demand for increased payments as “significant and unwarranted” and said the broadcaster was “disappointed at the Tribunal's decision”.