More Stations Discontinue Streams

By | April 12, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Clear Channel’s move to shut down the streamed signal of its broadcasts has been followed by several stations and groups.

Clear Channel’s move yesterday to shut down the streamed signal of its broadcasts has been followed by several stations and groups. Emmis Communications has announced plans to stop streaming until the issue with AFTRA is resolved. Cox Radio has also said it will have to stop streaming until ad-insertion technology is implemented. Individual stations within all three groups have continued streaming throughout the AFTRA debacle, but in dwindling number. Clear Channel Internet Group Chairman/CEO Kevin Mayer said that before long, all CCG stations will comply with the group-wide policy to eliminate streams from their sites.

At issue is a provision in the contract signed after last year’s SAG/AFTRA strike that requires broadcasters streaming spots recorded for on-air use only must pay up to three times more that the standard royalty paid for those spots.

Ad insertion companies including HiWire, Lightningcast, StreamAudio.com, and Coollink have come to the forefront in the AFTRA debate because each purports to be able to extract existing spots from live streams and replace them with spots recorded by non-union talent. In addition to the threat from AFTRA, broadcasters have been battling the RIAA over the payment of performance royalties to record companies for streamed audio, in addition to the ASCAP, BMI and SESAC payments.