Cue Sheet Timeline: From Placement to Payment

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  • #35250 Reply
    Rhythmscott
    Participant

    What’s the average timeline like from when a show plays with one of your cues until you get a PRO payment?

    I’d always heard “9 months, that’s how long it takes a PRO to pay you after the show airs”, however, I’ve been reading a few posts recently about some shows that won’t file their cue sheets until a year after the episodes aired. A few of my placements had cue sheets filed a couple months after they aired, so should I expect 9 months after the cue sheet is filed, or 9 months after the episode airs?

    Also, is a cue sheet ever filed for a show that never gets aired? Has that happened to anyone?

    I’ve heard of several stories where a cue sheet is filed, but a composer is not paid at all. This can be because of 1.) ASCAP’s stupid survey system or 2.) the PRO was unable to collect data about how often and when the show ran, correct?

    I’m mostly trying to clear up the order of events that needs to happen after a song is played in a show for a composer to get paid. Does it look something like: 1.) cue sheet is filed, 2.) network reports to PRO how many times and when the show aired, and 3.) PRO crunches numbers and pays composer”?

    #35252 Reply
    maxquaini
    Participant

    Sadly cannot help but it’s a very interesting question!

    #35258 Reply
    johnnyboy
    Participant

    Funny, I’ve had cue sheets turned in five years after the show airs. And networks like Telemundo are only monitor several hours during a quarter. If your music doesn’t show up on their radar, you won’t get paid. I had around 200 Telemundo shows that didn’t show up, and I wasn’t paid. I complained to ASCAP, but that’s just how it is – even though all the cue sheets were filled out properly and received by ASCAP. Yes, it’s not fair, but these smaller networks only have so much money available. If it was spread out fairly, it would only amount to peanuts. So, I reckon it’s better for a few composers to get a decent amount – but still not fair.

    #35259 Reply
    Rhythmscott
    Participant

    So johnnyboy, are you saying that because ASCAP’s survey didn’t monitor any of the 200 shows your music got played in you didn’t get paid?

    Or was the problem that the cue sheets were turned in so much later after the shows aired and ASCAP didn’t pay any royalties for something so far in the past?

    #35260 Reply
    johnnyboy
    Participant

    No, an ASCAP representative explained it to me. If it doesn’t show up on their survey, you don’t get paid. The cue sheets were turned in on time and properly. I showed the rep all the cue sheets, and was told that didn’t matter. On a positive note, many shows have showed up on their survey, without cue sheets shown, and I was paid. So, maybe it all balances out.

    #35261 Reply
    johnnyboy
    Participant

    BTW, the major networks are monitored 24/7.

    #35316 Reply
    mattchewh
    Guest

    I’m with BMI so I can’t speak for Ascap but I do know that networks/production companies are supposed to submit cue sheets to BMI within 60 days after the show has aired. That often does not happen and sometimes you have to be the one to reach out to your PRO and tell them that you have proof the show aired and that your songs were used. They can then submit a request on your behalf to the network asking why a cue sheet has not been filed. Ive had to do this multiple times with TV and streaming networks. As far as time the 9 months thing is true. The quarter it airs you can expect to see 2 quarters later which would be 9 months.This however won’t be true for foreign synchs. That takes longer and i’m not sure how that differs from PRO to PRO. Ive got a regular cowriter with ASCAP for TV stuff and we both get see our payments for TV stuff at the same time. I cant speak for SeSAc or others.

    The main point I’d like to get across is that sometimes you have to be the one that chases things up the flag pole. It sucks but it’s better than not getting paid.

    #35319 Reply
    Cues4tv
    Participant

    Hey Matt What do you send to BMI to get them to submit a request? I signed up for the free Tunesat and I’ve seen some of the airings show up, but as nice as they are there they miss quite a few of the airings and if a TV show plays a stem of your cue unless its included in the free 50 your out of luck. Is there any other way to find out your placements?
    Thanks

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