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Best way to obtain sync rights for recorded sporting event

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Adam FischerBest way to obtain sync rights for recorded sporting event
by on Sep 20, 2008 at 12:06:35 am

I posted this in the broadcast forum but haven't gotten any bites so I thought this may be the place...

Next month I'm going to shoot a mixed martial arts event (like UFC) and similar to a boxing match, the fighters have their own songs that they use for walk-in music. There are 9 fights, which means 18 songs. The organizers of the event already secured their ASCAP/BMI/SESAC license, but we still need a synchronization license for the final product which will be put on their website and/or DVD.

I've only ever licensed production music, so I don't know the best way to go about getting a sync license for all of these songs. Should I contact an attorney? Are there firms that specialize in only this?

I am also wondering how this kind of use differs from that of a feature. You always hear stories of labels/artists who won't license their music for movies, but in my experience working on televised sporting events, there never seems to be an issue getting rights for whatever songs the event organizers or fighters want to use. Is this a different kind of sync license? It seems like 18 popular songs would be very expensive. Do organizations like the UFC pay big fees every time they have a pay-per-view or cable event or is there some sort of blanket fee like an ASCAP license?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give me.




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Steve WargoRe: Best way to obtain sync rights for recorded sporting event
by on Sep 20, 2008 at 6:43:33 am

Contact Barbara Zimmerman at http://www.bzrights.com. You could have called me about this, Adam. Didn't Skip tell you that I know everything?




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Adam FischerRe: Best way to obtain sync rights for recorded sporting event
by on Sep 22, 2008 at 4:21:47 pm

Thanks Steve. I should have remembered that you are all-knowing!



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