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How We Pay | Film & TV


  • Broadcast Networks
    Including ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, My Network TV, NBC, Telemundo, and Univision
  • Cable Networks
    All basic, music intensive, and premium cable channels
  • Local Broadcast and Syndicated TV
    Full-power stations
    Low-power stations
  • Public Television
    Including PBS Network
  • Pay-Per-View and On-Demand Services

Use Types

Television performances are categorized according to the following use types:

A feature performance is a visual vocal or instrumental work that is the principal focus of audience attention, Feature performances receive 100% of the applicable credit value.

A theme performance is a vocal or instrumental work used as the identifying song at the opening and/or closing of a program. Theme performances receive credit equal to 60% of the applicable credit value. All theme songs used within a program as anything other than opening or closing themes, including usage as bumper music, will be paid as background performances.

A background performance is music used to accompany portions of the program to heighten interest, underscore the mood, change the pace, or otherwise contribute to the overall effect of the program. Background performances receive 16.67% of the applicable credit value per minute of usage. Background cues corresponding to the same work in a single program are aggregated.

Jingle, Promo, and Logo
A jingle is an existing or original work performed on television as part of an advertisement for a product or service. A promo is a work used to advertise or promote the airing of an upcoming television program and is submitted via logs from the production company. A logo is a work used to identify a program’s creator, producer, or distributor and is typically listed on the cue sheet. Jingle, promo, and logo performances on broadcast and cable networks, and logo performances on local television receive 3.5% of the applicable credit value. Jingle and promo performances occurring on local television receive a flat payment based upon the number of weeks and television markets in which the jingle or promo airs.

Royalty Weighting Factors

Station Count
Station counts vary depending on the source of performance. For example, a performance originating from a broadcast network or syndicated source receives credit for each affiliated station carrying that performance. On the other hand, a performance originating from a source such as a local broadcast station, a national cable outlet, or a digital media service, receives credit for that source only.

Feature performances 31 seconds or longer in duration receive 100% credit. Feature performances 16 to 30 seconds receive 50% credit. Feature performances 1 to 15 seconds receive 25% credit. Full payment is made for up to a maximum of 12 feature performances per one hour program. Payments for feature performances exceeding 12 per one hour program will be pro-rated among participating affiliates.

Background performances less than one minute in duration are pro-rated.

Jingle and promo performances 30 seconds or longer in duration receive 100% credit. Jingle and promo performances 1 to 29 seconds receive 50% credit.

Time of Day
SESAC applies the following time-of-day weights to corresponding television performances:

Royalty Formula

Station Count X Use Type Weight X Duration X Time of Day Weight X Affiliate Share = Credits

Television License Fees Available for Distribution / Total Credits = Value Factor

Credits x Value Factor = Royalty Payment

Helpful Hints


  • To ensure prompt payment, make sure that your works are registered as soon as possible.
  • Jingles must be submitted via the Online Works Registration utility. Paper submissions are no longer accepted.
  • Jingle information can be added to a previously indexed work via the Online Works Registration utility.
  • It is always helpful and may speed up the process for an affiliate to obtain a cue sheet when their works are used on television. If you are able to obtain a cue sheet, please submit a copy to cuesheets@sesac.com.
  • When inquiring about unpaid TV performances, be prepared to give the following information to your writer/publisher representative:
    • Program title
    • Air date, episode title or episode number
    • Song title used within the program