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Where does the money come from?

The television broadcasting companies pay us blanket annual royalty charges for their music use.

How are royalties calculated?

Depending on the level of its revenue and the difficulty of collecting and processing its data, each channel’s revenue is distributed across all its music use for either a sample of days or every day it broadcasts. We're continuing our pledge to remove broadcast sampling as a method of determining royalty payments and moving to census wherever it is economically viable to do so.


You should receive a royalty every time your music is played on a census channel.


For sample channels all music broadcast on specific sample days is processed, so you will only receive payment if your music is broadcast on one of the sample days for that channel.

In both cases the value of each play is dependent on the annual revenue received from each channel, the amount of music being paid on each channel for the year and the actual duration of the performance. The fee collected for a TV channel doesn’t change whether census or sample based processing is used.

See which channels are paid by census and which are sampled

Time of day weighting

A prime-time weighting is used for TV broadcasts between the hours of 1800 and 2300 to create a greater payment for music in broadcasts during the period that generally has bigger audiences. The per minute value for prime-time payment is approximately twice as much as for non-prime-time.

Find out more about the prime-time weighting

View a list of per minute values

What is the administration rate?

View PRS for Music administration deduction rates

When do we pay?

We aim to pay royalties quarterly, as shown in this table (opens PDF in new window).

The top row shows the month the performance took place. The second row shows the target distribution payment month.

This applies to royalties generated from music usage on all TV channels with the exception of royalties generated specifically from music channels. We include usage from music channels in September in the December distribution along with the usage for July and August.

If we receive usage information late from the broadcaster, we will pay the resulting royalties in the next available distribution at the per minute value prevailing at that distribution.

Can royalites be backdated?

Yes. If we have not paid you correctly in a distribution, you then have up to three years from the distribution date that the money should have been paid (as indicated in the schedule above) to let us know.

Why might I not have been paid for a TV broadcast?

Are you sure your music has been broadcast on a census channel or on one of our sample days? Download and check the census and sample day list above.

Are you sure your music has been broadcast?

Contact the broadcaster to find out more.

Are you sure your music has been registered correctly?

Check our database

Have we received music information for the programme, known as a ‘cue sheet’, from the broadcaster?

Search our cue sheets system. If we have not received a cue sheet, you should request that the broadcaster supplies this to us, or you can email a copy to: searchcuesheets@prsformusic.com

Please include the Production ID and Production Title. Paper copies can be sent to:

Search cue sheets
PRS for Music
41 Streatham High Road
SW16 1ER

Was the broadcast more than three months ago?

We pay broadcast royalties quarterly as detailed in the schedule above, so your work must have been broadcast at least three months ago for you to receive a royalty. If broadcast information was received late, you will receive payment in the next available distribution.

Have we been able to identify the performance of your music?

Sometimes, due to incomplete details being received, we are unable to match broadcasts to music on our database. To find out if any of your music remains unidentified, please use our Check unpaid performances service.

Need more help?

If after checking the above you still haven’t received a payment you think you should already have had, please contact us.

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